Hey friends!  We want to be able to enjoy all those fun summer outdoor activities without having to worry about those nasty pests and the many diseases they carry!  But how do we keep our families safe without exposing them to even more harmful toxins?  I'm answering those questions and more in today's episode of Hidden Toxins!  

We covered why it's important to protect ourselves from bugs, and what ingredients we want to avoid and look for!  But how about the best way to apply bug repellent and other things we can do to protect ourselves and our family?

I found many helpful articles from www.ewg.org, like this one:

What to do before you grab the repellent

Give bugs a smaller target. Cover up with light-colored clothing. In areas with a lot of bugs, wear long-sleeve shirts with high collars and bandanas. When walking in tall grass or brush, tuck pants into socks to keep ticks and chiggers off your body. Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas, and place nets over strollers and baby carriers. If your kids are going to camp, send them with mosquito netting for their bunks.

Get rid of mosquito breeding grounds. Drain standing water around your home. If you live in a place with a high tick concentration, make a wood chip barrier between your yard and wooded areas, mow the lawn, clean up brush regularly and follow the CDC’s guidelines for reducing your yard’s tick population.

Know your enemy. If you are in a place that presents few risks for pest-borne diseases and you don’t mind getting a few bug bites, your choice of repellent may not be that critical. On the other hand, if you need to protect yourself from Lyme disease, West Nile virus, Zika or other serious mosquito- and tick-transmitted diseases, your repellent and other preventive actions are serious decisions. It is vital that you research the common pest-borne diseases in your area – or where you are headed – so that you can match your choices to your risks.

Toxic or Ineffective Repellent Options

Try Instead
Bug zappers
They are ineffective and expensive, may attract more mosquitos to the area and may kill beneficial bugs.
Drain standing water, check window screens and stay indoors when insects swarm. Use repellent as needed on exposed skin.
Yard bug treatments
They don’t provide lasting protection, require more pesticides than skin repellents
Clip-on repellents, Insecticide fans
They pose inhalation hazards, and the ingredients metofluthrin and allethrin are more toxic than skin products. 
Ceiling or standing fans can keep mosquitoes from landing on people.
Repellent candles
They pose inhalation hazards, and are less effective than skin or clothing treatments.
Cover up with light-colored clothes. Use repellent as needed on exposed skin.

What is the best way to apply bug repellent?
  • If it is a spray or aerosol, apply to hands and then apply on exposed skin.  
  • Avoid eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands with soap and water after applying
  • Apply every 5-6 hours, depending on what product you use.  And apply more often if swimming or excessive sweating!
Here is a favorite homemade recipe I love:
Homemade Bug Spray
  1. ½ cup witch hazel.
  2. ½ cup apple cider vinegar.
  3. 40 drops essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree or rosemary-I use equal drops of each)
  4. 5 drops of blue cypress essential oil
  5. one 8 ounce glass spray bottle.
And as promised, here are the 11 foods that can repel bugs!!  If you want to read more on each food and why it is helpful, make sure to follow this link HERE!

11 Things You Can Eat to Repel Bugs

  6. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (So many other health benefits of drinking this every day!!!)
  11. ALCOHOL (Say what???)

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I sure hope this article gives you some options to truly enjoy your warm summer days annoyance free, disease free and toxin free!!

Abundant Blessings,
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