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4 Things That Attract Bugs and How to Repel Them

4 Things That Attract Bugs and How to Repel Them

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Bug Repellants

1. Lavender

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.

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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.

3. Citronella

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

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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