I love summer. It’s the only thing that makes living through the North Dakota winter bearable. But along with the flip-flops, picnics and outdoor games comes mosquitoes. For a creature that is smaller than dime, they can sure have a big impact on your day. The 4th of July was sunny 91° day but my family spent it bundled up in jeans, sweatshirts and socks just to avoid getting eaten alive while we watched the fireworks. It left me wondering how can I protect myself from getting eaten alive without having to bundle up like it’s winter.
Walking down the outdoor aisle at department stores there are endless options of insect repellant. Many commercial products contain DEET, a controversial chemical that may have adverse effects on children and the environment. The good news is there are effective natural insect repellant options you can turn to.
The first step in the fight against the bite, is to prevent mosquitoes from calling your yard home. Get rid of any standing water. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one tablespoon of water in just a week. Make sure you check gutters and dump out unused flowerpots so there’s nowhere for them to breed. If you have a bird bath, change out the water at least twice a week. Keeping your lawn short as well as tree branches trimmed off the group can also help.
You can also make your own bug spray at home for just pennies. Take a four-ounce spray bottle and fill it halfway with distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled. Then fill the rest with witch hazel. Add in 10 drops each of eucalyptus, geranium, catnip, citronella and thyme essential oils. Shake well and spray.
Not a fan of making your own spray at home? At Swanson Health Products, you can find a selection of natural inspect repellants, including sprays and balms. And if a mosquito somehow makes it past the repellent and bites you, find natural relief with Burt’s Bees Bug Bite Relief, ITCH-X Anti-Itch or Cortizone creams.