I grew up in Texas. Bugs and sunburns were part of our summers each year. After becoming a mom, these became a much bigger deal.
My daughter could not shoo away a bug or run away from it. If a fire ant found a way to her, she would not be able to brush it off and scratch the awful itch. If the sun was out, she could not turn her head to get away from it or squint to protect her eyes. Suddenly, the sun and bugs became something I stressed about each year.
DIY Pack ‘n Play Cover
One little trick that can work for any child who spends time in a “Pack ‘n Play” outside is super simple. The cribs have fitted sheets that you can pick up at most baby supply shops. Grab an extra fitted sheet. When you are outside, use the extra fitted sheet across the top of the crib. This will prevent those nasty flying bugs from getting into the crib and potentially biting or stinging your little one.
DIY Bug Spray
Another idea to protect your child is to make your own bug spray. I love this idea. The harsh smell that comes with the store-bought sprays can be enough to put a child with sensory issues into a spin. When you are making your own spray you can use essential oils that your child likes and it will help encourage them to use the spray without the meltdown. Here is one recipe that you can use, but you can find lots more if you Google ‘DIY bug spray’ or search on Pinterest.
DIY Mosquito Trap
Here in Texas mosquitoes are a problem in the summer. Being that we haven’t had many hard freezes in a few years, they seem to get worse each year. There is a DIY trap that you can make at home. It’s pretty simple.
Grab an empty 2-liter soda bottle. Rinse it out really well and then cut it in half. Boil about 2 cups of water with ¼ cup of brown or white sugar. After the sugar dissolves, let the liquid cool and then pour it into the bottom half of the bottle. Add a pinch of yeast. Don’t stir it in, just drop it into the liquid. Turn the top half of the bottle upside down and insert it into the lower half. Wrap the bottle in any black or dark paper (or tape product) you have. Stick it outside and mosquitoes will get stuck in the bottle instead of bothering you.
You can watch an instructional video to see how it is done here: https://youtu.be/7O6r3lGWVrY
Insect Repelling Plants
One last tip, use plants to help. You can plant lavender around the house to deter scorpions. You can plant lemongrass to deter mosquitoes. When selecting any plants, talk to the people who are selling them. They can tell you what attracts bees, wasps, etc. And they can help you find plants that fit your look without the bugs you want to stay away.
I hope these tips help you keep the bugs out and enjoy a wonderful summer with your family - don’t forget the sunscreen!
Read Marty’s other tips and tricks for more great ideas.