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The sun is out! And so are the bugs!

Last month, I got some major bug bites, sand fleas, I think. They were so bad I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t stop itching. It was miserable! I finally got some relief from an epsom salt bath. It happened again the next night, and I ended up taking benadryl the next few nights so I could get some rest! (Yes, I need to find a homeopathic version of benadryl - if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them.)

I’m a huge magnet for bug bites and they are so annoying! Does this happen to you too?

Now that July 4 has past, we’re at the height of summer and the sun is finally making a more regular appearance in the Pacific Northwest. Warmer weather means more time outside (yay!) and temperatures that insects thrive in (boo!).

So besides citronella candles, wearing long sleeves and pants, staying indoors, how can we safely prevent bug bites? Here’s what I’ve found to make sure I’m not itching all night long.

DEET - What You Should Know

DEET, not to be confused with DDT, is the most effective mosquito repellant out there. According to many research articles it is still considered safe. However, those research articles are considering the “severe adverse effects” of DEET, not the long term health risks. In reading some of the articles summarizing the risks and benefits of DEET, I’m going to say “no thanks”. Not worth it. 

Popular Science may claim it is safe, but I’ll take my natural bug repellant and suffer with a few bug bites than risk nervous system toxicity. After all, we don’t have to worry about malaria, dengue, or yellow fever where we live.

Plus it’s not great for the environment. Because DEET doesn’t dissolve in water, it’s commonly found in groundwater systems, streams, and surface water.

DEET-free Bug Repellent

Greenerways Bug Repellent

I saw this stuff at Costco when I was earlier this spring and I grabbed it. A friend said it worked pretty well, but honestly, I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Have you?

I’ve also heard good things about Pure Luxe Apothecary’s Herbal Bug Repellent

Do you have a favorite bug repellant that works? Please share!


Also, Check out this handy dandy tool - 

I’m guessing that even with my favorite natural bug repellant and other preventive measures, I’ll still get bitten. I learned about this cute little tool from a Facebook ad (silly, but true) and I had to grab it. The reviews are great and I’m hoping it really works! If not, no loss since it was only $10. The ability to extract the itch inducing poison sounds like a dream!

So how do you manage summer bug season? I’d love to hear your tips!