As annoying as they are, insects are essential to the environment. They help pollinate plants, disperse seeds, cycle nutrients, maintain soil structure, control populations of other organisms, and are a food source for other animals. And yet, no one likes an itchy, painful, puffy sting – especially kids who can’t help but scratch them! While bugs and their bites are inevitable, you can lessen your chances of getting eaten alive by mosquitos and other pests (sans toxic chemicals!). Don’t let the creepy crawlies keep you and your family from enjoying the great outdoors!
Here are tips For Preventing Bug Bites Naturally:
If you're headed on a hike, trip to the lake, or playing outside at dusk, use clothing as a shield. Protect that precious skin by covering up as much as possible. Go for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and closed shoes. If the bugs are really pestering your littles? Pull their socks over their pants, tuck in their shirts, and consider buying some EPA-approved insect repellent clothing. In addition, you can drape a breathable mesh cover over a playpen, carseat, or stroller to shoo away the bugs from your baby. (Emphasis on the words “breathable” and “mesh.” Anything thicker will be too hot for your summertime sweetie!)
Believe it or not, bugs have fashion sense as well – they’re attracted to floral prints and bright patterns, so go easy on the flair.
Bugs and the breeze don’t mix. So, if you’re near an electrical outlet, plug in a fan to keep mosquitos at bay.
Certain scents act as natural mosquito repellants. While essential oils like thyme and peppermint might smell ahh-mazing to us humans, the bugs aren’t buying it. That’s why we formulated Hello Bello’s bug spray with a little nature. Our ingredient list includes:
Note: Whether you apply bug spray or not, you’re always at risk for tick bites and mosquito-borne diseases when heading outside. Brush up on your local public health guidelines for specific recommendations.
Bugs especially like to hang out (aka breed) near water. Look for any area where water pools up (like in a bucket, pot, or plastic covers) and take care of it asap. (Eco-Tip: Use the water in your garden or potted plants so it doesn’t go to waste!)
When planning for your next vacay, research the insects native to your destination. Look up the CDC Destinations page to see what vaccines or medicines you may need, and to read up on any current health risks.
If you want a more natural way to banish bugs, look for a formula that’s plant-based and DEET-free. Why avoid DEET? While the EPA has approved DEET for use in insect repellent, it’s a common skin irritant.
We might be biased, but our mosquito repellent is lab-tested, hypoallergenic, effective against those mini monsters, AND a winner of the “Best Skin Care for Kids 2022” award given by Parents magazine.
Note: If you’re planning a camping trip or long hike in the woods, check with local public health guidelines. DEET isn’t generally necessary for a day at the park, but it might be prudent to use if you’re going more hard-core outdoorsy and there are Lyme Disease or other insect-borne disease warnings.
Mosquitos get the munchies during certain times of day – most often dusk and dawn. If your kid’s a mosquito magnet, consider staying inside during those peak hours.
Rethink your planting plans! Like essential oils, some plants are natural insect deterrents. Experiment with citronella, lavender, lemongrass, lemon thyme, scented geraniums, marigolds, and basil. Just remember – there is no foolproof solution for avoiding a bug bite. While plants might lessen buzzing around your house, these plants probably won’t keep them out of your yard completely.
Make yourself a lot less attractive to mosquitos by avoiding scented products – lotions, perfumes, hairsprays, and body wash. Unless you’re using a mosquito repellent with bug-banishing essential oils (see #3), fragrance-free toiletries will keep you from alluring unwanted critters.
Yes, you can save yourself from a sunburn and bug bites. For best results, slather on the sunscreen first, then add mosquito repellent over top. And while it’s OK to spray mosquito repellent directly on your kiddo’s legs, arms, feet, and tummy, take extra caution when applying it to their face and neck. Spray it onto your hands and then rub it on their face, avoiding their eyes, lips, and any owies or irritation.
What are your go-to methods for preventing bug bites, or treating the skin after they strike? Please share with us in the comments!