Summer is great, except for bugs. When you are out, sporting a sexy dress over your tanned skin, your skin lightly sparkling from the sweat, you feel like a goddess – until you hear a buzz and you realize mosquitoes have just started to feast on you. Besides, gnats are all over the place, joining their forces with bees.
Yes, summer is amazing, but it’s also rich in bugs of all types, from flies to mosquitoes and gnats. In order to avoid them, you have to know how bugs find you. Your body releases a lot of smells, which humans can’t detect, but insects can. On top of this, you use a lot of perfumed lotions, deodorants, detergents and so on, which add to the fragrance footprint of your body.
Your diet also has a lot to do with how you smell to bugs: what you eat is detectable in your sweat. Apart from smells, mosquitoes and other bugs detect humans by their breath and the colors they are wearing. Light colors make you invisible for bugs, while dark colors turn you into a target. The same is valid for your skin tone: the darker, the more attractive for bugs. Your blood type also matters, but that is something you can’t change, yet I wanted to mention it. To make sure you stay bug bite free, here is a list of things to avoid, followed by a list of bug repellent scents.
1. Floral perfumes
If you like floral scents, you should choose between becoming a big mosquito target and smelling like flowers. Leave the rose fragrance perfume, lotion, etc. at home and avoid it for the entire summer time as bugs are attracted by floral scents.
2. Go sock-less
Remember how bugs are attracted by sweat and body heat? Closed shoes and socks are full of sweat and tend to be really hot, so they make you more attractive to a lot of bugs, including mosquitoes. For the summer, pick open sandals and leave the socks at home.
3. Quit drinking beer
Beer is one of the drinks that attract bugs, according to an interesting study. In fact, all sugary drinks are very attractive to bugs and these make your sweat equally attractive. So it is better you drink more water. There is also a 4th item to avoid, but I can’t actually number it: men. Yes, men are bigger and sweat more, so they tend to attract more bugs. If you can’t avoid them this summer (I am kidding, you know, right?), just keep away from large gatherings, where there are many hot, sweaty people who look like a feast for most bugs.
Another reason you want to avoid large crowds is the fact that beer and soda are always present at gatherings. As we’ve seen, these drinks attract both mosquitoes and other type of bugs, such as gnats, flies and bees. If you want to get rid of gnats, bees and mosquitoes, drink water. Now that you know what attracts bugs, you need to know what repels them, so here is the list of fragrances you should stock on for a bug-bite free summer.
Instead of a flower-scented lotion, opt for a lavender scented one, which is going to make you repellant to bugs. You can also pick a no fragrance lotion or spray and mix it with couple of lavender essential oil drops to create your own repellent. Lavender plant also works great at repelling bugs, so plant them in your garden.
2. Peppermint and Eucalyptus
All bugs hate peppermint smell, so you can make your own bug barrier by crushing peppermint leaves and rubbing them on your body. Another way to hide yourself from bugs is by using a homemade peppermint spray, using peppermint essential oil. Eucalyptus has the same effect, so you can either use both or pick one of them.
Citronella is another great bug repellent that smells amazing, but you need to be careful with this one, as it can easily irritate your skin. Lemongrass also contains citronella, so you can use that instead, if your skin is not sensitive to it.
4. Cooking repellents
When you want to organize a grill, make sure to use rosemary, basil and garlic, which are natural bug repellents and can add a great delicious taste to your food. As for rosemary, you can also make a DIY repellent perfume. If none of these repellents works for you, just go for the posh version: there is a Victoria’s Secret perfume that is actually a bug repellent in disguise. It may not be natural, but you can proudly tell your friends that you are wearing a great bug repellent.
Featured photo credit: Cara/Flickr via flickr.com