Everyone loves summer until they’re covered in bug bites! I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t love hearing the “roasting” sound of bugs dying in a contraption nor do I enjoy overly smelly/sticky bug sprays (especially layered over sunscreen). So what to do? First up taking B complex vitamins can be very helpful. Ideally you’ll want to start taking them 3-4 weeks before summer, but better late than never (especially if you’re traveling to a Zika hot spot). These vitamins give off an odor that mosquitos hate! It’s also important to remember that mosquitos like dark colors so wear lights and whites when possible.
That said, if you’re in an area that is full of mosquitos and other annoying bugs, a bug spray will be key. Look for ones that are high in essential oils (anything from germanium to lavender) because bugs hate them Also make sure the product you’re buying is registered by the EPA. There are a few proven actives for mosquitos but DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 also protect you against ticks so opt for products formulated with those (DEET was long thought to be carcinogenic but that has been disproven and it is now widely considered safe even for children). Sawyer has some great and affordable options (lotions work just as well as sprays). Note that if you’re worried about ticks/hiking don’t forget to spray your feet/sneakers as ticks usually start low and climb up your legs so you’ll want to stop them in their tracks!
Of course if you have been bitten avoid scratching (sometimes impossible I know…) not only will it make it worse, but scaring is possible. And, if ticks are a concern, do a full body check and always wash your clothes in case any are hiding!