Tag Archives: kids summer activities


Don’t Bug Me!

We love sum­mer & the great out­doors. But with the sweet, comes the bit­ter. Bugs! Mos­qui­tos, horse flies. All those crit­ters you for­got about through the chilly winter.

So what do you do? Lather your­self & your chil­dren with Deet or other tox­ins? Not nec­es­sar­ily. Many com­mer­cial prod­ucts con­tain Deet and other pos­si­bly harm­ful chemicals.

Some bugs are even devel­op­ing a tol­er­ance to Deet. Before you know it, they’ll be crav­ing the stuff & the best place to find it will be on your skin!

We’ve found some safe options.

David Suzuki’s Home-Made Remedies

David Suzuki guide to safe bug control

David Suzuki’s Guide to Safe Bug Control

David Suzuki has some great recipes for reduc­ing pesky bite bites & for treat­ing them if and when they do happen.


One of the sim­plest repel­lents is good old plain white vine­gar. You just spray it on but you do have to reap­ply often. I haven’t tried this one yet. I won­der if you’ll smell like fish and chips after hik­ing for a bit. I’m not sure it mat­ters because, first of all, insect repel­lents usu­ally stink. Man­u­fac­tur­ers try to cover it up with fra­grance but you still end up smelling & feel­ing like toxic chemicals.

Cit­ronella & Essen­tial Bug Oil Spray

Another repel­lent you could try is an essen­tial bug oil spray. One of the ingre­di­ents is lemon­grass, a beau­ti­ful fragrance.

Suzuki has also included a recipe for home­made cit­ronella can­dles. It blends beeswax, a biodegrad­able, renew­able prod­uct, with cit­ronella essen­tial oil.

Suzuki’s Essen­tial Oil Bug Spray


9 drops cit­ronella essen­tial oil

9 drops pep­per­mint essen­tial oil

9 drops lemon­grass essen­tial oil

1 table­spoon grain alco­hol (vodka)

¼ cup spring water

3 ounces dis­tilled water

1 ounce grain alco­hol (vodka)

6 drops laven­der essen­tial oil

3 drops tea tree essen­tial oil

3 drops cit­ronella essen­tial oil


Add all ingre­di­ents to a spray bot­tle. Let mel­low for a few days, allow­ing the essen­tial oils to blend. Spray on skin as needed or use as room spray (around win­dows and doors) to keep mos­qui­toes away.

Com­bine ingre­di­ents in spray bot­tle. Make this a few days before head­ing camp­ing or hik­ing! The longer you can let it mel­low, the more effec­tive it will be. 


David Suzuki’s recipe for Herbal Insect Repel­lent includes a list of essen­tial oils you can use in a vari­ety of com­bi­na­tions. Here are a few oth­ers you might like to try:

  • Cit­ronella Oil
  • Lemon Euca­lyp­tus Oil
  • Cin­na­mon Oil
  • Cas­tor Oil
  • Rose­mary Oil
  • Lemon­grass Oil
  • Cedar Oil
  • Pep­per­mint Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Gera­nium Oil
  • Pos­si­bly Oils from Ver­bena, Pen­ny­royal, Laven­der, Pine, Cajeput, Basil, Thyme, All­spice, Soy­bean, and Garlic

More Bug Bite Prevention

The best pre­ven­tion is to keep skin cov­ered, if pos­si­ble. This is the best solu­tion for chil­dren & preg­nant or nurs­ing moth­ers since using repel­lents is more of a con­cern for these groups. Wear long sleeves and pants. Wear light-coloured cloth­ing as dark cloth­ing attracts mos­qui­toes. Remove stand­ing water from your yard or locate your camp­site away from stand­ing water, if possible.

Car­bon diox­ide also attracts mos­qui­toes and that’s exactly what you exhale when you are breath­ing. You can’t do much about that but you can divert atten­tion away from you or your children’s breath by burn­ing can­dles. They also pro­duce car­bon dioxide.

I’m sure there are other great solu­tions and recipes out there.

What do you do to pre­vent or treat bugs bites?


Girls Hiking in Jasper National Park

Suzuki’s Recipe For Healthier & Happier Kids