Be prepared for the season of fun in the sun, playing by the pool, hikes, camping, long nights spent on patios with lemonade…and flying blood suckers, crawling blood suckers, itchy and irritated skin. Summer is like that ex girlfriend that your friends like, but she ended up cheating on you. When she’s gone, you remember the good times, yearn for that warmth again, but when she’s back, you remember how she betrays your trust. Well, no more. It’s time to take back your summers without feeling icky, sticky, and itchy.

   An Ounce of Prevention:
There are so many mixes you can make at home to stave off the blood suckers. These mixes repel fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and flies, and can be used on humans and most domesticated animals with fur, however always do a test patch with a 24 hour wait before doing a full body spray on yourself or others, as everyone’s different. Spray these mixes on directly before outside play or, if you sleep with the window wide open like I do, before bed. Reapply if you get all nasty sweaty or wet.

All of my mixes start with a base of 1 part apple cider vinegar (ACV) to 5 parts water, then I add any of the following essential oils, in any delicious combos. On average, in a 5oz bottle I total about 10-15 drops of essential oils, depending on how caustic the essential oil is. My list of bug repelling essential oils include:

  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree
  • Citronella
  • Peppermint
  • Orange
  • Lemon

   Right now I am using lavender and lemon in my spray, so it also doubles as an all around skin healing spray. I spray it onto sun burns, scrapes, and bug bites.
   Want to go a step further? Drink ACV daily! 2 tablespoons in your drinking water daily naturally repels bugs. Though, on a smellier note, eating a bunch of garlic and onions do the same, though you’ll probably end up repelling more than just bugs.

   A Pound of Cure:
When bugs DO strike, acidity helps take the immediate sting down and relieves some of the skin irritation. Lemon juice and vinegar are extremely affected. If your skin is ridiculously sensitive, like mine, a baking soda pack helps to draw out some of the toxin that causes excessive inflammation, which will then help it to heal faster. Also, an Epsom soak will help to draw out the irritants, but the heat can be counter productive. Of course, a strong immune system is your strongest weapon to overcome bug bites.  

     To debug your home and outdoor spaces, the same scent apply. Simply add enough drops of any of the above listed oils to any of your household cleansers for the oil’s scent to shine through, and clean as usual. I love Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps, generally in lavender, and I add tea tree oil to it when I use it to wash down my hard surfaces and add it to hot water to steam clean my floors (commercial floor cleaning liquids are full of so much junk!). For outside, light some candles, add some of the above essential oils to the burning wax, and BOOM, bug free zone.

What are your go tos for debugging your home? Debugging yourself? Any personal tips you have that you swear by?

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