Simon Bandy: how to enjoy a bug-free summer

Nutritionist Simon Bandy from Seaford-based supplements company Health Plus gives his advice on how to minimise pesky summer bugs

With the warm summer sun showing no sign of vanishing completely, it’s inevitable that there will be more bugs around. If you’re anything like me, the mosquitoes flock around waiting for a nibble. Wasps can be a problem too, attracted by al fresco dinners and glasses of Pimms, alongside September’s fruit harvests which can be a breeding ground for little critters.

For those of us who seem to attract mosquito bites or are allergic to wasps, insect repellents that contain ‘DEET’ can be effective, but not everyone is happy to cover themselves in chemicals which are linked to irritation and allergies. There are however some simple and natural methods that can help to keep bugs at bay. Here are some of my top tips:

Remove bug attractors: Standing water is a haven for mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. Look around your garden and, where possible, get rid of any gathered water in buckets, kids’ pools, gutters etc. One large bucket of water can become a mosquito nursery for several thousand larvae. If you have a pond, invest in a solar-powered pump as the movement of the water can help deter mosquitoes from laying their eggs. If you have a rain barrel, ensure the lid is always tightly on.

Keep food and drink covered: The summer is often a time to enjoy eating al fresco. Unfortunately, flies aren’t fussy about what they eat and will land on practically anything. Wasps appear to have a penchant for sweet, sticky summer beverages like cola, tropical juices or alcohol. You may want to think about investing in or making some mesh food and drink covers as a cheap and easy solution.

Use bug-repelling natural essential oils: Using essential oils is a natural way to repel insects, and the two most effective oils are citronella and clove. Health Plus has expertly combined these two oils into a handy blend, Bee Gone (£5.95 for 10ml). Essential oils aren’t suitable for undiluted contact with the skin, so mix a few drops into a base oil, such as almond oil, or into your body lotion and apply like a moisturiser for an effective, natural repellent. Alternatively, you can use this blend in an oil burner or invest in some citronella tea lights, which are handy to dot around the garden or your home to fill the air with a lovely, bug-repelling, lemony scent. Citronella garden candles are also available from Health Plus.

Eat garlic: Okay, so it’s not the most sociable food to eat, but garlic seeps from your pores after eating, which in turn creates a mosquito barrier. If you don’t fancy being stinky, string up some garlic bulbs on your patio or around open windows to keep away bugs.

Have a fragrant barbeque: Next time you have a tasty summer barbeque, throw some fresh sage or rosemary onto the coals. Not only will it create a lovely-smelling aroma and fragrant food, but these herbs are also great to repel flies and mosquitoes.

Simon Bandy is a natural supplements expert for Health Plus; a Seaford based business established over 20 years ago with a mission to promote optimum nutrition across the world. Family-owned and run since November 1991, the company supplies a wide range of British made, high quality nutritional supplements at www.healthplus.co.uk