One of the best things about sunny summer weather is getting to spend more time outside. The downside, though, is outside is where all those biting bugs hang out.
While it’s hard to avoid the bugs entirely, there are some measures you can take to keep insects further away from you—and a few things to have on hand to treat the bites you do get.
- Homemade bug repellents: Most DIY insect repellents rely on scent, including citrus, garlic, lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) even lists oil of lemon eucalyptus as an effective insect repellent.
- Diluting essential oils in a carrier oil typically makes them safe for application on skin but be sure to use recipes for the appropriate measurements of each ingredient. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has four such recipes to try: https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening/gardening-advice/homemade-bug-spray-recipes
- Home remedies for bug bites: One of the best things to put on a bug bite to alleviate the pain and itching (and to keep you from scratching) is good old hydrocortisone cream. If you don’t have any on hand, however, not to worry. Try mixing baking soda with a little water until it’s a paste and apply that to the bite—this works in a similar way to calamine lotion. Aloe vera gel can also minimize itching, and an ice pack can help numb a painful sting and relieve swelling.
Home remedies are great, but it’s also important to know when to get a professional’s opinion. If you’re allergic to certain insects’ bites or you know you were bitten by a poisonous bug, there’s no question that you should seek medical help immediately.