6 Ways to Repel Summer Pests Naturally
If you're anything like me, the moment you step outside during summer months you're bombarded by flies, mosquitoes—basically anything with wings. That is, that's how it used to be for me, until I got tired of fending off incessant bugs or running for cover. Instead of staying inside to avoid the dozens of bites I'd eventually amass, I sought natural solutions to repel them naturally. The good news? It worked. Even better, you can use any or all of the solutions listed below. The more you try, the better off you—and your yard—will be.
Use essential oils. Pure, naturally derived essential oils have many beneficial properties for overall health, including staving off bugs. Pests—and mosquitoes, ants, and ticks in particular—hate lavender, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, and lemongrass. You can diffuse any or a combination of these oils outside to keep them away, or add some to a spray bottle for an effective bug spray (see below). And if you're camping? Add a few drops of clove or clary sage to the campfire.
Try a homemade bug repellent. Use a combination of the aforementioned essential oils to create your own homemade bug repellent. Grab a glass spray bottle and add a few drops of the oils you want to use, then add a few teaspoons of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Not only will the solution smell fantastic, but it'll keep most bugs away. Not into making your own? Try this amazing TerraShield blend from doTERRA.
Add neem oil to your lotion. This natural vegetable oil, extracted from the neem tree, contains the natural bug repellent sallanin in its leaves, seeds, and seed oil. Add a few drops to your lotion before applying it to get not only a natural pest repellent but also a beneficial oil that can help fight skin infections and signs of aging, as well as promote wound healing.
Plant nature's bug repellents around your yard. Rosemary, lemongrass, citronella, mint, basil, and catnip are excellent plant options, while marigolds add beauty as naturally bug-repellent flowers. Plant them near where you'll be sitting outside—or put them in movable pots—and don't be afraid to plant more than less. For additional protection, run your hands through lemongrass and rosemary, then rub the scent along your arms and legs.
Remove standing water. Keep your yard as dry as possible to avoid attracting mosquitoes, which use standing water to reproduce. Replace existing water regularly, like in a pet's water bowl or a birdbath, and make sure to remove stagnant water from empty flower pots, kids' equipment, tires, and drainage pipes. If you have a decorative pond in your yard, add mosquito fish to it so they eat the larvae.
Keep it light and breezy. Mosquitoes and other pests are attracted to darker colors, so wear clothing that is both lightly colored and light to the touch (it is summer after all). Add as many fans as you can nearby as well. The constant movement makes it impossible for mosquitoes to fly around you. Bonus points for being nice and cool in the summer heat!