It’s the height of summer, and you’ve probably been battling flying insects like mosquitoes, flies and wasps for weeks now. Nothing is more annoying than sitting down to relax outside and having to play “shoo, fly!” Want to live in peace from these winged marauders for the remainder of the summer? Here are some easy tactics to help you achieve outdoor relaxation!

Flies

Fill a Ziploc bag halfway full of water, drop a few pennies in the bottom and seal it closed. Next, put a hole in the plastic above the sealed section and tie a string through the hole. Use a tack or something similar to suspend the zip bag in a doorway or other entry point. The locals in Hot Springs, Arkansas swear by this trick. They say the flies won’t enter because of the way the water refracts the light and disturbs the flies’ perception of the area. Whatever the case may be, as long as it keeps the flies away, I’m A-OK with it!

Mosquitoes

  • Dryer sheets: Hang a dryer sheet outside wherever you are, preferably upwind. The smell will repel the mosquitoes. So, if your laundry room is near your sitting area, throw in a few extra sheets to help keep them away! You can also have everyone put one in their pocket—you’ll be mosquito free and have the best smelling party on the block!
  • Rose geraniums: If you’re a landscape guru, incorporate rose geraniums into your landscaping. They have a long history in South Africa as protection against mosquitoes. When bruised, rose geranium leaves and flowers give out a pungent odor that drives the insects away. Or you can get rose geranium oil at health food stores and make your own spray. Just add a few drops to a small spray bottle full of water, and you'll have homemade mosquito spray!
  • Mouthwash: Put Listerine in a spray bottle and mist the perimeter of your sitting area. It contains menthol, eucalyptol, and thymol, which repel most bugs. It won’t kill them but will deter them for a while. Plus it’s DEET free! The only downside is that it contains alcohol, so it may evaporate quickly.

Bees, Wasp, Hornets, Oh My!

  • Feverfew flowers: Planting feverfew flowers can keep bees away. The white flower, which looks like daisies, is said to deter bees because of the smell. When the flowers are dried, they also repel moths.
  • Hairspray: Cheap hairspray will bring wasps to the ground in one spot-on spray. Just make sure everyone is out of the way and you’re aiming at the insect before spraying!

Did you know that you can also keep bugs away just by adjusting what you eat and drink? Every day, drink a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar and also eat lots of garlic. Vitamin B1 taken daily is also supposed to help repel insects!

Here’s hoping the above tips help you have relaxing and pest-free outdoor experiences this summer!

This is a guest post by Tiffany from Miami, MO
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