Happy July 4th! Win the Battle of the Bugs


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Bug Repelling Herb Garden


It won't be long before the skies are bright with July 4th fireworks displays. It seems that every town, village and neighborhood has its own celebration. Honestly, I'm not all that excited about sitting outside during the twilight hours anytime, including July 4th. You wouldn't be either if mosquitoes loved you as much as they love me!


Of course, when I was a kid we innocently sprayed ourselves head to toe with bug repellent just about every day of the summer. It helped, but at what cost? I'm grateful that we are now a little more aware and have some better options. However, most go back to the days before chemicals. Here are a few things you can try:

First, cover up even if it's hot. That's one of the best things you can do. Be sure to wear loose fitting light-colored clothing, since those pesky mosquitoes can bite right through tight clothing. Avoid perfumes, choosing some insect-repelling essential oils instead. There are many herbs that repel bugs, so having an herb garden by your back door is not only convenient for the cook, but will also deter bugs from coming into your house. Place pots of herbs by all of the entrances of your home if possible.




You can even add herbs to flower boxes, since most herbs are very attractive too. The following herbs are all great bug repellents and most are available as essential oils too. 

There are more, but this should give you a good start.

 

Additionally, you can use herbs from your garden to make your own bug spray and potpourris. If you aren't a gardener or if you're just a little lazy, essential oils can be purchased and used instead. See my recipe section below for ideas.

 

You can find herbal products at health food stores too. In some cases (like hiking through tick infected forests), you, might want to use something stronger like DEET, but only as directed. The Environmental Working Group website has recommendations for effective and less toxic bug sprays, among which are Avon's Skin So Soft Bug Guard and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. 

 

Attract insect-eating birds to your garden by adding colorful flowers. You'll receive the added bonus of a beautiful garden and lovely songs to awaken you in the morning.

 

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Lizards and frogs are also beneficial creatures to have around for bug control. Provide nooks and crannies where they can hide. I have a few small decorative garden pieces and birdbaths that catch a little water for my feathery, scaly, and slimy friends. I change the water often so they don’t serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes!  


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For more information check out these websites:

http://www.wikihow.com/Attract-Helpful-Animals-to-Your-Garden

http://www.canadiangardening.com/how-to/pests-and-diseases/six-plants-that-repel-mosquitoes/a/42758

http://wellnessmama.com/2565/homemade-bug-spray/   

  


© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™