Bugs are back.

The other day, I was doing yard work (prepping the grass, re-edging the garden beds, etc.) and I started to get itchy. It was hardly 6 pm.

I went inside after finishing up and noticed the horror: 18+ mosquito bites. Boom. Night ruined.

There have been countless nights where bugs have ruined my evening. My wife or friends will want to sit outside and have a fire, or just have a cocktail and chat. Sounds amazing, right? No, we end up inside on a beautiful night, because none of us want to be eaten alive.

And sure, we could load up with some extra strength bug spray, but DEET is a big question.

Yes, it is safe to use, but in moderation. And I don't know about you, but when I use bug spray, I hold that sprayer down for two whole minutes. Plus, bug spray stinks. PLUS, DEET is not safe for children under two.

So what do you do if you want to be outside, don't want to be eaten alive, and don't want to use bug spray?

Well, you use one of these all-natural solutions:

Citronella Candles. We have all heard of this trick, and some candles do work really well. I have found I need a whole assembly of citronella candles to work, but they do work.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil. I have seen this becoming trendy, which makes me wonder if it works. Certain essential oils do a phenomenal job of repelling certain insects.

Neem Oil: According to a Native Pest Management article, "2% neem oil, especially when mixed with coconut oil, has been found to be 96-100% effective at repelling certain species of mosquitoes."

Cinnamon: I think cinnamon is a cure/trick for a thousand things. It is supposedly a good repellant for mosquitos too.

Bug Repellent Plants: There are many plants and herbs that are commonly used to minimize mosquito presence: basil, rosemary, mint, and sage, as well as Marigolds, catnip, allium bulbs, witch hazel, and bee balm.

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