April showers may bring May flowers, but flowers still bring bugs, which can be nuisances to people trying to enjoy the warmer weather outside. Biting flies, mosquitoes, gnats, bees, and beetles can make outdoor excursions unenjoyable. People often rely on insect repellents to keep bugs away. Repellants, such as those that contain DEET, may prove more hazardous to human health than the insects themselves–even if a person has been bitten. To repel insects safely, experiment with these different methods.
• Aloe vera, lavender, peppermint, and clove are known to repel mosquitoes.
• Grow herbs and flowers like garlic, rosemary, tansy, catmint, basil, pennyroyal, and marigolds. These plants naturally repel many bugs.
• Avoid lotions or perfumes with a floral scent, which attract bugs.
• Remove standing water around the house where pests may gravitate to and lay eggs.
• Citronella candles and sprays may work for a few hours in relatively small areas.