Summer is finally here! I'm looking forward to days filled with sunshine, laughs, long walks along the beach and...bug bites? Yes they come back every year: mosquitoes. And they are out to spoil your camping trips, your afternoon hikes and your picnic lunch dates. So how do you avoid these pesky pinchers without saturating yourself completely in harmful chemicals? Let us tell you! Avoiding Mosquitoes 101: 1) Lavender Make natural bug repellent strips by applying a few drops of lavender to ribbon and setting them around your porch, deck or wherever you're having mosquito invasions. You can add about 30 drops of lavender essential oil to two tablespoons of vegetable oil and use as a body spray. Lavender is a lovely, calming scent for humans, but mosquitos really despise it. 2) Eliminate standing water Standing water attracts mosquitoes who use it as a breeding ground. Standing water can be found in bird baths, gutters, puddles and pet water bowls. 3) Neem oil Neem oil is derived from the Neem tree, found in India. It serves as a natural insecticides that can be sprayed on both plants and humans to keep the bugs at bay! 4) Light colours Wearing light colours such as white or pastel pink can keep the bugs away. Typically bugs are attracted to dark or black clothing as these colours stand out best to them. Treating Bites If it's too late and you've already been bitten, here are some natural ways to aid the itch! 1) Tea bag When the itch first strikes, grab a tea bag and dampen it, then pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool. Apply it to the bite. This will help calm the itch and reduce the inflammation. 2) Aloe Vera Apply aloe vera gel to the itchy spot. Aloe has been a timed honoured itch-reliever and anti-inflammatory. 3) Basil Leaves Rubbing a basil leaf on the bite can reduce swelling while repelling mosquitoes from returning. Got any home remedies or homemade repellents of your own? Share them with us!