How to keep bugs away the natural way – TOP 21 methods

natural ways to keep bugs away

Wouldn’t Summer be so much nicer if we knew how to keep bugs away?

Flies germing up our grilled goodies, mosquitos biting us to bits and wasps scaring us silly – bugs don’t half ruin our fun!

Imagine a Summer that’s bug-free – as many uninterrupted outdoor BBQs as you like, without a bug annoyance, sting or bite in sight.

I’ve got just what you need! Here are 22 DIY ways to keep bugs away all Summer long, without spending money on a single bug repellant.

Don’t let the bugs bother you – make this Summer bug-free.

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1. Cover food & drink to prevent bugs from bothering you

prevent bugs by covering drinks
Use cupcake cases to cover drinks!

This may sound like an obvious one, but don’t uncover food and drink items until you sit down to eat.

As soon as mosquitos, flies, wasps and other bugs catch the scent, they’ll come swarming.

2. LEDs don’t attract bugs

Have you ever noticed that bugs seem to swarm around lights at night?

This may be due to your choice of light bulb. New research suggests that the type of light we use can attract bugs. The results show that a warm LED light bulb is the least attractive to bugs

Swapping your bulbs for environmentally-friendly LEDs may be the key to keeping bugs away.

3. Citronella candles are a natural mosquitoes repellent

Ahhh, the citrussy-sent of Citronella is just lovely, isn’t it? Mosquitoes certainly don’t think so!

In fact, research shows that Citronella candles can reduce mosquitos landing by around 42% – that’s a lot of bites!

DIY citronella candles are incredibly easy to make – check out Tesco Living‘s tutorial and keep those bugs at bay today.

 4. Keep your house clean to prevent flies

food stains attract bugs
Food spillages will attract bugs – be quick!

Bugs, and ants in particular love one thing – sweet stuff. Leave sticky stains on your tables, chairs, or anywhere for that matter, and they’ll come crawling.

Keep your house nice and clean – especially the kitchen – to avoid unwanted ant infestations.

5. Sweat attracts mosquitoes & flies

Sweaty skin will not only be unpleasant for those around you, but also attract insects to your body.

When we sweat, we give off hormones and scents that attract mosquitoes. Shower more regularly during the Summer months and wear cool clothing to keep those mosquitoes away.

6. Place a chopped onion in water to naturally repel mosquitos

Old wive’s tales recommend placing a chopped onion in water to repel mosquitos.

Similarly to garlic, mosquitos seem to find onions unpleasant. Place a bowl nearby your outdoor seating area, and swish the water to release the aroma.

7. Vitamin B could prevent mosquito bites

Vitamins are extremely important to our health, but it’s vitamin B that could be particularly useful in preventing mosquito bites.

It’s thought that mosquitoes are more likely to bite people low in vitamin B. To make sure you’re not among them, eat plenty of vegetables, eggs, pork and fish.

8. Keep bugs away from your lunch naturally

unwanted picnic guest
Oh buzz off!

As soon as you sit down to eat, the bugs appear. In their twos, threes and tens, they come to get in on the foodie action, leaving germs all over your burger, salad and dessert.

Sometimes it’s just worth sharing – not off the same plate, mind. Set up a plate of scraps or honey on a plate elsewhere in your garden to divert bugs and keep them from bothering you.

9. Dryer sheets repel insects

This one sounds a little bizarre, but it’s been discovered that some dryer sheets do in fact repel insects.

A common component in dryer sheets is a scented ingredient called linalool. It’s thought to be this that keeps bugs away.

Pop a dryer sheet into your pocket when outside to prevent keep bugs away.

10. Jonhson’s baby oil will prevent mosquito bites

This might just be the best revelation yet – baby oil prevents mosquito bites!

This is because mosquitoes can’t breathe when they land in the oil.

Why not pick up a classic by Jonson & Johnson’s from Amazon today ready for the holiday season? It’s gentle enough to use on the entire family.

11. Garlic is a natural bug repellant

garlic is a natural ant repellent
Bugs hate garlic as much as vampires!

I’m not sure about Vampires, but bugs definitely don’t like garlic, that’s for sure.

Start adding flattened garlic cloves to your cooking during Summer months. Not only will they add flavour, but if you munch on them, they’ll help to prevent mosquito bites.

12. Mint mouthwash spray will keep bugs at bay

I’ve already mentioned that mint plants keep bugs away. If you want to take this a step further, a super easy DIY mosquito repellent can be made from your minty mouthwash.

Just pour it into a bottle and spritz all over to prevent mosquito bites during the Summer months.

13. Limes & cloves are natural bug repellents

A quick, easy and pretty way to keep bugs at bay during BBQ season is the pairing of limes and cloves.

Slice the citrus fruit into halves, and stud each one with 6 whole cloves. Place on the table to prevent bugs from coming near. You and your guests will finally be able to enjoy yourselves bug and bite free!

14. Avoid wearing perfume to keep mosquitos away

perfume attracts mosquitoes
Swap your sweet scent for something more neutral.

I love a sweet scent for Summer months. The problem is, sweet perfume attracts mosquitoes!

The best way to prevent mosquitos being attracted to your skin is to abstain from scented beauty products – especially perfume – completely. If you physically can’t, opt for something less sweet and more neutral to help repel mosquitoes.

15. Drinking beer encourages mosquito bites

Trying to cut down on the booze? Discovering that drinking beer encourages mosquito bites might just provide the motivation you need!

The reason as to why this remains unclear, but beer has been proven to increase mosquito attraction in several studies.

One thing’s for sure – if you don’t want to be bitten this Summer, best to consider swapping your pint for something less mosquito-friendly.

16. Dish soap will attract & kill bugs

Having no luck with other, natural bug-repellents? Then something’s gotta give – it’s time to turn to dish soap.

Placing small bowls full of dish soap (preferably lemon scented) around your outdoor space will attract mosquitos. The bugs will then be trapped in the sticky solution.

A sad fate for the insects, but you’ll be able to enjoy your Summer bug-free!

17. DIY a natural mosquito repellent using vanilla

If you’re in a kinder mood and have a little time on your hands, why not whip up your own DIY mosquito repellent?

Do It Yourself has a great recipe using vanilla as the main ingredient. Not only does it smell sublime, but it’s a natural method to keep bugs away.

18. Get rid of bugs naturally by growing herb plants

growing mint plants in the garden will deter bugs
Mint smells great too!

Mmmm, there’s nothing like the fresh smell or rosemary or mint. While we appreciate potent, herby smells, bugs certainly don’t.

In fact, rosemary or mint plants planted in your garden will keep mosquitos away. Plus you’ll be able to use the mint to Pimms and marinate your BBQ meat with rosemary when cooking for an extra dosing of flavour – yum!

19. Apple cider vinegar will keep bugs away naturally

I’ve already mentioned that bugs and mosquitoes, in particular, are attracted to the scent of our sweat.

Drinking apple cider vinegar can actually have an effect on the smell of our sweat, making it less appealing for mosquitoes.

Start using it in Summer dressings to keep those bugs well away.

Apple cider vinegar is also an amazing beauty product! Find out why in Anushka’s article, 19 reasons why apple cider vinegar is the BEST beauty product.

20. Prevent bugs with a bubble machine

The kids will be happy when they hear about this one!

In a similar way to scented washing up liquid, bubbles will also repel bugs.

The soapy smell floating across your garden in the form of magical bubbles will keep mosquitos, flies and wasps well away.

Plus, they’re SUPER fun!

21. Fans can blow bugs away

fan to prevent bugs
Blast those bugs away!

It’s hot and sticky and there are bugs everywhere. The solution? Invest in a fan.

Not only will the soft breeze keep you cool, but the moving air will make it much more difficult for bugs to get close.

With these tips, you’ll finally be able to keep bugs away this Summer! Do you have any DIY methods you’ve had success with?

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

  1. 3 Jo Jones Reply

    Avon Skin So Soft contains Citronella & helps keep the bugs away while encouraging lovely soft skin too. I discovered it after years of being bitten every summer, & it works a treat for me.

    1. 4 Stephanie C Reply

      Hi Jo. What a great tip! It can be difficult to find truly effective insect repellents so your recommendation is definitely valued. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 Wendy Reply

    Have been using Citronella candles for years and love the way we can all sit out in the garden and not worry about bugs! Best invention ever!

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