I've been researching some natural remedies to keep the bugs away and to help with the itch if you do end up getting bitten. I've found one recipe that I really like and it is all-natural so you don't have to worry about spraying yourself or your kid down with horrible chemicals. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/pcfranq She also has a little blurb with some great info on DEET, which is one of the main ingredients in most bug sprays. I also came across this article full of info on natural insect repellents: http://tinyurl.com/qx8x7na
Garlic is another great repellent, and you don't have to eat it to get it to work. I take a clove, cut in half and rub on the top of my hand, just underneath the thumb knuckle and rub it on the soles of my feet. The skin absorbs the garlic and it travels through your bloodstream. The only downside is that you will smell like garlic for a long while.
My mother-in-law is an Avon customer and uses their Skin-So-Soft for a lot of different things. It's great to help with sunburns, but it also contains a natural insect repellant. (Who knew??) It's kinda greasy at first, but your skin will soak up that goodness and keep those pests away.
If you do end up getting bitten, here's a few remedies that I have found effective to killing the itch:
- Deodorant stick (technically not natural but SUPER effective) - The aluminum in the deodorant acts as an astringent and draws the irritant out of the skin, leaving you itch-free
- Rubbing alcohol - When the rubbing alcohol evaporates off your skin it creates a cooling sensation which stops the itching
- Ketchup - I'm not 100% sure why, but I think the acidic nature of ketchup neutralizes the itch
- Hot metal spoon - You run a teaspoon or tablespoon under hot (not scalding) water and hold the spoon on the bug bite until it's mostly cooled. The heat is supposed to break down the poisons that cause the itching. This one is kinda painful but it works.
I know there are so many more remedies out there, but these are my favorites. I hope they help you have an awesome time outside without any pests around :)