Discover 5 Tips for Keeping Bugs Away the Natural Way!

Gnats and mosquitoes are two of summer's biggest headaches, and a swarm of either of these pests can break up a barbecue faster than even the biggest social faux pas.
You don't want yourself and your guests to be hopping around and madly swatting at the air, but you might not want to bathe in smelly chemicals, either.
1. Use Lavender to Keep the Bugs at Bay

Most humans may love the smell of lavender, but lots of creepy-crawlies loathe the fresh clean scent of this lovely bloom. You can use this to your advantage by making a homemade gnat or mosquito repellent using lavender, such as one of these three recipes.
2. Get Rid of Gnats

Lots of gardening enthusiasts swear by the "mouthwash method" for outdoor gnat control, as well: pour basic mouthwash into a spray bottle, and spray it around the area where you plan to spend time. The smell discourages the little critters from paying a visit.
3. Give Mosquitoes the Heave-Ho

Insect repellents that contain DEET can keep mosquitoes away, but some people prefer not to use DEET because of its potential for irritation. The CDC also recommends repellents that contain picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol.
4. Stay Sweet and Bug-Free with Vanilla

We may think that vanilla smells delicious, but gnats and mosquitoes apparently do not. To keep these bugs at bay, dab a little vanilla extract at your pulse points, or mix 2 ounces of vanilla extract with 2 ounces of water in a spray bottle, and spray on exposed skin just before going outside. Some people's skin is sensitive to vanilla extract, so be sure to test it on a small area first.
5. Natural Repellent Roundup

There are countless species of insect out there, and many can respond differently to repellents, so here is a roundup of more natural repellent recipes. First up is a homemade insect repellent that Scottish fishermen swear by, courtesy of Finally, here's a collection of 20 homemade insect repellents, courtesy of Jill from the Prairie Homestead.
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