Health & Wellbeing

Weird ways to keep the bugs at bay

Jasmine Burke suggests some weird (and maybe wonderful) alternative repellents to combat those pesky little flying creatures that suck your blood.

A mosquito sitting on skin

We’ve said goodbye to what was another perfect summer, which held many delicious hot days and just the right amount of rain. Now comes the colder months, with the assurance of many wet days and the big weather-related nuisance,  the mosquito.

These pests aren’t just annoying but they can be dangerous too. Warnings across the state to take extra precaution with protecting one’s flesh have been issued following the detection of mosquito-borne viruses such as Ross River fever, particularly in the Hunter region. You can be sure that the tiny vampires will come out to play on those wet, extra muggy days, which are perfect breeding conditions.

Prevent the bites

Do you find yourself rushing from class to class to eliminate as much outdoor time as possible in an effort to avoid being eaten alive? Is regular repellent just not cutting it for you? If so, you can try these simple alternative repellents to help keep the bugs at bay (most of them can be whipped up from regular at home ingredients):

  • Apply undiluted white vinegar to the skin with a cotton ball (smell disappears almost immediately).
  • Add two or so tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle of water and apply.
  • Wash yourself (hopefully you do this anyway but just noting they are attracted to human odours).
  • Drink gin and tonic (slightly expensive solution).
  • Rub some essential oils on yourself (could double as a funky perfume/aftershave) e.g. citronella, cedarwood, cinnamon.
  • Wear a glove of garlic around your neck and/or wrist.

Others things to wear include: rosemary, thyme, onion, peppermint or eucalyptus.

Stop the itch

If you already have a few bites and no cream here are a few more things you might have lying around the house to help relieve the itch. It’s as simple as applying to the affected area.

  • Lemon slice
  • Peppermint toothpaste
  • Banana peel
  • Baking soda
  • Table salt
  • Ammonia
  • A mix of lavender/ tea tree oil
  • Dissolve an aspirin in a little bit of water so it forms a paste

For more tips on staying bite free, check out the NSW Health website.

Image: Sanofi Pasteur

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