4 Natural Ways to Keep the Bugs Away

Many hours are spent outside during the summer time: in the backyard, at the park, or at the local splash-pad, which means a lot of bugs bites are to be had, as well. We have put together some cheap, easy and natural ways to keep the bugs at bay to give your babies some more time to play!


1. Citrus

Who likes spiders? Yes, they are good for things like eating bugs and mosquitoes but let’s face it, they are flat out scary looking and give you the creepy-crawlies. You want the spiders in places that your children don’t play – like in trees, bushes, even corners of your house.

You can take orange oil and put it on and around your outdoor swing sets and playhouses to keep the spiders out. Simply take the essential oil bottle and sprinkle it in the corners of the plastic play places where one piece would meet another. Or you can saturate a cotton ball and wipe it in the area you want to keep the spiders out of. Do this about once a week to help keep them at bay.

To keep spiders out of your house you can also put a little of the orange oil in your door and window frames!
Product Recommendation

NOW Foods Orange Oil prides themselves on quality, and you can rest assured that when you buy any of their essential/therapeutic oils you are getting the healthy stuff – not all the fillers and additives. They have won numerous awards for the quality of their products with two major companies: Clean Eating Magazine and Whole Foods.

2. Peppermint

Not only are mosquitoes one of the most annoying insects on the planet but they can also carry West Nile virus, Yellow fever and Malaria. Those are some pretty serious and, sometimes fatal, diseases! Ticks can carry Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Powassan Disease . Those are also some very serious illnesses that no one should have to endure. With this peppermint trick you should be able to keep the mosquitoes away from you so you don’t have to kill them with a slap on the arm or leg. Because — no matter how annoying they are — they actually serve a purpose in our ecosystem and play a surprisingly vital role in it.

If you keep essential oils in your home, you will have peppermint on hand! Grab a spray bottle and put 2 cups of water in it and add 25-30 drops of peppermint in it. Mist it on yourself and the kids before you head outside for a great natural protection from mosquitoes and ticks. It doesn’t hurt that is smells great, too!

Product Recommendation

Eden’s Garden Organic Peppermint Oil: We love Eden’s Garden because they are budget friendly, and have amazing customer service. Try using it with this spray bottle.


3. Wasp Traps

Wasps can seem pretty aggressive if you accidentally come upon a nest of them. When one releases a distress pheromone the rest of the colony will swarm. This could be very dangerous to any child or adult, especially if they have an allergy. I mean, we all saw what happened in the movie My Girl right?

Product Recommendation

If you want something to deter the wasps but you aren’t that crafty check out Premier Kites 84028 Honeycomb Wasp Trap in a beautiful purple color.

Hint: Amazon says to put a little sugar water in the trap to attract the wasps to the trap but honey bees are also attracted to sugar water. To keep from killing bees, add a little meat water (like tuna or chicken water!) to the sugar water solution. The honey bees will steer clear of it and keep doing what we need them to do!

While on the topic of bees, it’s important to note that you should avoid killing bees at all costs. They are why we have fruits, vegetables, flowers, trees, etc.

More than 100 agricultural crops in the United States are pollinated by bees. This means bees are important, if not essential, for the production of nearly $7 billion worth of agricultural crops produced annually in Arizona. Examples of bee pollinated crops include watermelons, cantaloupe, citrus and apples. Although some of these crops are pollinated by bee species other than honey bees, honey bees are the only ones that can be easily managed, moved around and are known to exploit a wide variety of crops.”(1)

Bees are extremely important to our ecosystem, so if you find yourself near some bees – just leave them be. They aren’t that aggressive and are more scared of you than you are of them.

4. Marigolds

Yes, you read that correctly! Marigolds give off a smell that most biting insects do not like – so they steer clear of them. Marigolds are a fairly easy annual to maintain, even for the blackest of thumbs! For those who don’t know much about gardening – an annual is a plant or flower you have to replant every year and a perennial is one you only plant once and they bloom every year. Marigolds are great because they bloom in Spring, Summer and Fall. They do need full sunlight and can live in pretty much any soil. They look like a combination of carnations and daisies. Plant them around the places you spend the most time in the yard and they will keep the bugs away from everyone. Marigolds also attract butterflies ,so the kids will love seeing them and chasing them around the yard!

Product Recommendation

Earthcare Marigold Seeds are a great addition to any flower bed, or garden, and Earthcare seeds are certified GMO free and packaged in the USA!

For best results plant your marigolds the beginning of spring and they should last up until winter. Maybe even longer if you live in a warmer climate where there is virtually no winter. By the time they die – it is already time to plant them again.

There are so many ways that you can repel bugs without using harsh chemicals! If you keep dryer sheets in your laundry room, you can put one in your pocket or tie it around a belt loop and it will work like a shield. If you have lavender flowers around your home you can take one and rub it on your wrists and behind your ears and the nape of your neck to also keep bugs away It is amazing the amount of uses flowers and oils have, so go ahead and give them a try for yourself.

Want to learn more about how to repel critters without nasty chemicals? Check out Natural Pest Repellents!

(1) – Arizona.edu

Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby

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Ashley Gammon

Ashley lives just outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. She is obsessed with the shows Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Her favorite thing to do is to take walks at the local park with her daughter and husband and play on the slide with her very energetic toddler. She is a magazine, Amazon, and Target junkie. Ashley is also a big Georgia Tech fan (Go Jackets!) and loves to go to every home football game they have.

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