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Last year my husband and I spent a fortune on toxic pest control. We were frequently overcharged, worried about contamination, and the whole thing was a headache!
This year we felt there had to be a better, safer, healthier, and more economical solution and we found it! Here’s what we have come up with thus far that has been working well for us.
#1 Solar-powered bug zappers
We reviewed several different kinds of bug zappers and finally decided, as where we live is fairly sunny, that solar-powered bug zappers were the way to go. Clearly, they have to be put where the sun can charge them and also where the bugs are. So far they have done a fairly good job of keeping the bug population down.
To keep the mosquito population down there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Check the attractant range, and use as many of the zappers as you need to catch bugs in different areas of your property. We have a small yard, so we have four smaller zappers. You may want more. If your property is large, you may want to opt for something else (see below).
- Start as soon as you can. The key to mosquito population control is getting started as soon as you can with bug control. So don’t wait until it is a problem. The bigger the population, the harder it is to get the problem under control. This doesn’t mean that if you have a big population it is hopeless, it just takes more time (and perhaps a larger bug killer than these solar-powered ones. See below.)
- Keep your bug zappers away from bug repellants. We repel the bugs away from us, but want them attracted to the zappers.
- Bug zappers will work better against mosquitoes with a specific mosquito attractant. These need to be replaced every month or so.
- Finally, if you have a large backyard and/or large mosquito population, then opt for something a little more mighty than these guys.
Now that we have an attractant bug zapper to keep the bug population down, the next step is to repel what bugs are left away from you.
#2 topical bug repellent (Natural, safe, and effective of course!)
If you and your loved ones (with or without fur) will be outdoors for very long and won’t necessarily be in one space, then putting on bug repellent is a must.
My favorite natural, safe, and of course PROVEN effective topical bug repellent is this one. We use this for walks, hikes, and camping and found it is good for all sorts of biting bugs and is especially great for repelling mosquitoes.
For fur babies, about once a day I’ll put the topical bug repellent on their collar and lightly spritz their legs and bodies before going out. If you have smaller fur babies then dilute the repellent with water and shake well before applying.
It’s also safe for your kiddos. While it doesn’t need to be diluted for bigger kids, definitely dilute and/or apply sparingly for very little ones. If you don’t want to apply anything (even something non-toxic) to your baby, then opt for #4 when going places.
#3 Bug repellent incense
We like to use this when we are having barbeques or relaxing under our gazebo. The incense, depending on the size, lasts anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Just put four (one per corner) of them out in the ground or in pots filled with sand or dirt within 12′ of each other to create a square perimeter. Set out more anywhere you want to extend the protection for family and guests. If you have wanderers (little ones, fur babies), then #2 (topical bug repellent) is still a must.
The only con is that it is a fire risk. So not great for camping or fire hazard areas.
This works great on its own, but when we combine this with the next tip (diffusing bug repellent), as long as we stay in the perimeter no one gets bit.
#4 Diffuse Bug Repelling Oils
This one is great because it is safe to take camping or if you’re in a drought area.
Essential oils are proven, powerful bug repellents and even insecticides. However, there are a lot of artificial (aka fake, aka toxic) ones out there. For this to really work, and be safe and non-toxic, get the real stuff here (We’ll support you with questions when you purchase through that link).
When you diffuse the bug-repelling essential oils, it creates a perimeter, or safe zone, much like the incense. The incense has multiple points for the perimeter so you want to stay within the area. In the case of the diffuser, you typically only have the one (though you can certainly have more) so you want to be near it. However, unlike the incense, the diffuser goes with you and you can tailor the blend to protect you against different bugs.
RECIPE: Fill your travel diffuser to “max” with water and then combine 5-10 drops of one or more of the following essential oils:
- 💧Tried and true bug repellent blend (I almost always just use this one!)
- 💧Citronella, mosquitoes
- 💧Rosemary, mosquitoes
- 💧Lemongrass, mosquitoes
- 💧Thyme, fleas
- 💧Patchouli, gnats
- 💧Eucalyptus, roaches
- 💧Peppermint, ants
Do your own research and come up with your own blend!
Share with us what you use to protect your loves ones safely and holistically from bugs!