With the heat and humidity of summer now blanketing the country, people everywhere are enjoying backyard barbecues and relaxed afternoons at the pool. While the days outside are certainly preferable to the chilly darkness of wintertime, there are often a bunch of uninvited guests at your favorite summer gatherings: insects. No matter where you live, chances are you’ve seen your outdoor activities made a bit more uncomfortable by mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, chiggers or a wide range of other tiny creatures that seem born to make life miserable. While you certainly want to figure out a way to convince these critters to go elsewhere for their entertainment, you also don’t want to spend the whole summer with your body coated in poisonous chemicals. DEET products may keep the bugs away, but they’re certainly not good for you, especially if you’re spraying them around food. So here’s a look at some of the best natural options for insect control, so you’ve got a couple of alternatives to consider.
The absolute best deterrent for bugs is to attempt to remove the things that attract them. This is especially true for ants at a picnic. They don’t come around because they particularly enjoy human contact. But all of those delicious crumbs you leave behind are simply too enticing to ignore. Take the time to clean as you go, keeping your tabletops, counters and picnic blankets as free of crumbs and sticky bits as possible. You’ll see a noticeable difference just by taking this step.
Did you know that the absolute best way to stave off mosquito bites is to bring a bit of breeze into the equation? There are several variables that make a person attractive to a mosquito, but most of them have to do with scent. By simply placing a fan on a table between the guests you’ll greatly reduce the annoyance of swarming mosquitoes. You’ll blow the scent they’re looking for away from the people, and hopefully head home with far fewer of those itchy bites. Mosquitoes also can’t fly straight into a stiff breeze, so they literally won’t be able to reach you no matter how hard they try.
If you’d like to avoid spraying chemicals through the air or onto your skin, consider candles designed to keep the bugs away. Simply lighting a citronella candle can repel quite a few of the bugs looking to make their presence known. You could also look for candles that include peppermint oil or oil of lemon eucalyptus, which are two all natural products that have been shown to work just as well as DEET. In fact, oil of lemon eucalyptus has actually been shown to keep ticks away as well. Just make sure you don’t use it on children under three-years-old, as it could be poisonous if it is eaten.
If you do need something you can spray on all of the members of your family, consider anything that’s primarily made of soy. There’s a product called Bite Blocker that’s marketed for use on children, and the Center for Disease Control has declared it safe for that use. You’ll also find that soy products will remain effective longer than even more dangerous chemical compounds. Some of them will protect you for as long as ninety minutes. Ask your Garden Grove termite inspections professional about soy the next time he comes through the house. This could be an option for protection indoors as well as outdoors.