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After a day out in the sun, do you find yourself scratching a lot of insect bites on your arms, legs, and elsewhere? I seem to be a favorite target of mosquitoes. They invite themselves to many of the barbecues, festivals, and outdoor concerts I go to each summer. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid getting bitten, and there are homemade treatments that offer relief from bug bites. Check out these tips and arm yourself against those pesky bugs this spring and summer.
Avoiding Bug Bites
To avoid the chemicals in store-bought bug sprays and treatments, many people turn to homemade repellents. For instance, peppermint oil has been shown to repel mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and ticks. Geranium is another scent that repels flies, gnats, ticks, and mosquitoes. Rosemary repels flies, gnats, and mosquitoes, while lemon eucalyptus is repellent to ticks. Lavender is a lovely scent and one of my favorites partly because it repels mosquitoes! Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other illnesses, so it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Rose geranium oil is a powerful ingredient in many homemade tick repellents.
Treating Bug Bites
Despite your best efforts, you will likely end up with a few bug bites this summer. Thankfully, there plenty of ways to soothe mosquito bites in a natural way. Last summer, I must’ve encountered the grandfather of all mosquitoes because I ended up with a big, angry, red bite on my arm. I smoothed some honey onto the bite, and it began to feel cooler and less itchy right away. Honey bees are plentiful in many areas, and they can leave behind a painful sting in a matter of seconds. If you get stung, mix a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with water to create a paste. Smear it on the bee sting and cover it with a bandage, leaving it on for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can also soak a clean bandage in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area.
Easy Precautions to Take When You’re Outside
If you plan to walk in the woods, wear pants and tuck them into your socks. This may look a little silly, but ticks can’t attach to skin that’s covered with a layer of clothing. Wearing a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt is another a good idea. If you have long hair, try tucking it under a cap or hat so ticks can’t fall into it or climb up any loose strands. If you forget your hat, be sure to comb your hair after returning home and ask someone to look in it for ticks: It’s better to find a tick and get rid of it before it attaches to your skin. Protect your little one in their stroller by draping a light layer of netting over the front of it so mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, and other bugs have little to no access. Remember to check your dog for ticks before letting it into your home after a walk in the woods.
Don’t let the bugs get you down this spring and summer: Go with a homemade solution!