Now that spring is in full swing, and summer is almost near, the bugs have started coming out.  If you’re like me, that means that you will suffer the next four months or so being eaten alive by just about anything that bites every time you go out of doors.  I know you can purchase bug repellents and sprays, but I hate the way they smell, feel, and work.

I’ve done some homework to see how I can naturally repel as many of these pests as I can. My favorite trick is to build wasp traps.  Wasps scare the living daylight out of me, so I am all for keeping them as far away from me as possible.

To build my traps, I use cleaned out two liter soda bottles.  You lop of the top right where it begins to slope.  On the inside of the bottle place a few small scraps of raw meat.  Yes, this is gross, but it works.  Then replace the top of the soda bottle upside down, and tape the seams.  The wasps will be attracted to the smell of the meat, will fly into the bottle and not be able to figure out how to get back out.  Place your trap well away from where you plan to spend time.  This will attract the bugs, as well as trap them so there is likely to be a few stray bugs flying around.  This same trap will also collect flies.

For mosquitos, make the same trap but put 1 cup of water mixed with 1/2 cup of sugar and a heaping tablespoon of yeast into the bottom of the soda bottle.  The CO2 made by the sugar and yeast attracts the mosquitos.  Again, they can get in, but not out.

Now ticks,  my other summer arch nemesis.  To repel ticks mix one part of tea tree oil with two parts water.  I like to put the mixture into a spray bottle so that I can easily spray it on me and my kids.  This does a amazing job at repelling ticks, but always make sure to do a tick check anyway in case one got through your defenses!  Always better safe than sorry.

-Stephanie Wright

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