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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

5 Foods That Let You Enjoy the Great Outdoors Without the Bug Bites

{Image Credit: Getty Images}

Summer brings about good friends, delicious food, starry nights and, of course — bug bites. Bothersome creepy, crawling insects are the last thing you want to think about as it gets warm out. But these backyard barbecue crashers are a real pest, especially when it comes to our skin.

If you’re itching to know what could keep you safe from bugs throwing their own feast on your skin this season, look to these foods as natural insect repellents with bug-banishing properties.


Unbelievably, bugs can’t stand this one scent. A study from the Journal of Insect Science suggests the fragrant orchid is a strong repellent that discourages mosquitoes, black flies and ticks for longer than 120 minutes. If you want to use it as part of your beauty regime, dilute a tablespoon of vanilla extract with water and wipe the mixture onto skin.

Olive oil

If that garden fountain is your favorite accent this summer, be a little cautious as standing-water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Depending on the sizes, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to water. The National Institute of Health reports that olive oil has the highest average percentile repellency against mosquitoes. While oil will float on the surface, it will also keep bugs at bay and not harm birds. However, change the water twice a week to evade larvae hiding in nooks.

Orange and lemon peels

While they say rubbing onions all over yourself keeps bugs away, we’re not too crazy about that scent. Instead, try rubbing fresh orange or lemon peels over exposed skin to prevent bites. Not only will you smell great and steer insects away, but the oils also found in these two citrusy favorites will soothe and soften skin.

Apple cider vinegar

If you haven’t added apple cider vinegar to your routine, you’re going to want to. Not only can it soothe sunburns and minimize peeling, but the antiseptic properties also keep bugs and bloodsucking mosquitoes away. Moreover, ingesting three tablespoons daily prior to alfresco fun can also cause bugs to flee. However, if you’ve already been bitten, spraying a little on infected areas can help balance pH levels and reduce inflammation.


The citronella oil derived from the lemongrass plant is not only an effective repellent found in a slew of outdoor skincare products, but its high citral and geraniol content acts as an antiseptic with its astringent properties that aid in sterilizing pores and reducing inflammation. Best of all, you can add to soups, salads, create a spray bottle diluted with water, or use as a bath oil as it makes skin oh-so-soft.

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What are some foodie remedies you recommend? Share with us in the comments below.

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2 Comments on “5 Foods That Let You Enjoy the Great Outdoors Without the Bug Bites”

  1. Felicia Gentile July 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    OMG Im going to do the vanilla when I get home!! I got attacked by mosquitoes just sitting my yard last night, ugh! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Transit Address July 19, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    Hehe. great post
    i found it useful as i ain’t a bug love. LOL

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