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12 Tips to Protect Yourself from Bug Bites
No matter where you live, city or country, on the East coast or on the West coast, summer is here. And with summer comes flowers, sunshine, beach vacations, oh yes, and those nasty, ugly, biting bugs. Those little buggers are everywhere the minute the weather warms up.
Find that you or your kids are getting overrun by the creepy crawlies? Do you have bites on top of bites? Try our list of the top 12 ways to keep them away or, if they have already struck, ways to make the itch stop itching.
1. Protect your skin by wearing long sleeved shirts, pants, socks.
The first rule of thumb, most bugs can’t bite through clothing, so by wearing clothes that cover more skin, the less chance you have of being bit. Wear light colored solids. For some reason, bugs dig those paisley prints and the goth look.
2. Stay inside
Of course, this isn’t much fun, but right around sunrise and sundown, mosquitoes come outside and do their little biting dance so if all else fails, stay inside until the mosquito show is over.
3. Use unscented products
Don’t wear perfumes, scented sun screens or suntan lotions. Bugs like good smelling people as much as we do, it appears.
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4. Use bug lights
You’ve seen them, those yellow light bulbs that look like little glowing lemons? Bugs don’t like those the way they like white light so install yellow bulbs ( you’ll find them at hardware stores listed as bug lights) in all outdoor fixtures.
5. Eliminate all standing water
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, not running water. So be sure to empty buckets, kids toys, Fluffy’s water bowl ( remember to refill it with fresh water) , plastic pots, garbage cans, clogged rain gutters, bird baths, even your kids blow up pool should be emptied every few days to keep mosquitoes from breeding.
6. Encourage natural predators
If you have a pond, stock it with fish, goldfish will do just fine, they eat mosquito larvae. Leaving seeds and water out for birds will bring them to your yard where, besides seeds, they will eat bugs. Many garden centers sell natural predators such as ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantis. You might want to build bat houses and place them around your property. Bats cat eat poundsof bugs every single night.
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7. Plant mosquito repelling plants
Like humans, mosquitos love some scents and hate others. Some of the plants mosquitos hate are lemon thyme, tansy, marigold, sweet basil, sassafras, and scented geraniums. Roses have somehow lost their appeal now, havent’ they?
8. Keep your outdoor meals safe
Bugs love your food as much as they love making your body their food. Put a fan over the table or set one so it blows back and forth across the food, this will discourage almost all flying insects. Ants are another story. Placing the legs of your picnic table in small cans of water ( such as clean tuna cans) will keep ants and other creepy crawlies from being able to climb up the table. Ants can’t swim.
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To stop ticks, tuck long pants inside socks or boots and avoid walking in tall grass or near tree trunks or around piles of dead wood or rocks. If you should go for a woodland walk or picnic, have everyone check each other over for ticks. Don’t forget to check Rover, too.
10. Keep screens in good repair
Check around the outside edges to be sure they haven’t come loose or frayed. If they are still finding their ways inside, use mosquito netting over the beds. Very romantic, don’t you think?
11. Always choose nontoxic repellants
Make your own homemade bug spray! Mix half a cup of water with half a cup of witch hazel. Add half a teaspoon of glycerine, then 30 to 50 drops of essential oils such as:
- Tea Tree
This spray works like a charm but is completely non-toxic and costs only pennies.
12. When you get bit
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, those little buggers find us. When that happens there are several natural rememdies to help take away the itch.
- Tea Tree Oil
- Baking soda. Mix with a little water and make a paste. Let dry then brush off.
- Yellow onion. Slice one in half and rub the cut side over the bite.
- Vinegar. Tape a cotton ball soaked in vinegar over the bite overnight. Read about other uses of apple cider vinegar.