It's been cool and windy for the past while here (65 km/h winds! If there was snow on the ground, some of those days would have been blizzard days for sure!), but we weren't complaining. For the most part, that meant that the bugs stayed away and you could actually walk outside without looking like you were doing an interpretive hand-dance in front of your face the whole time. We also tend not to take Pepper for a walk when the bugs are bad because I haven't been able to find a dog-friendly bug spray that doesn't harm him/make him react, etc. and the poor guy gets bitten about as much as I do.
I know we've mentioned it numerous times that these are bugs that travel in packs and swarm you at every opportunity, but I thought I'd show you a little of what we've been talking about. Here's how our window looks on any given day.
This is literally after about 5 minutes of opening the window. They see an opening and immediately infiltrate it. We actually had a bug problem inside the house for a while and couldn't figure out how they were getting inside. Turns out, the screen on our windows were bowing out so we solved it by taping the heck out of them so there's no way they can get in. It also means I can't easily clean the window, but I'll take dirty windows any day if it means no bugs in the house.
Having our bug jackets (thanks, Mom!) is essential when we're out walking, and we rub it down with a fabric softener sheet, and then spray ourselves with a good bug spray. We don't have a bug jacket for Pepper (yet), but we put on his raincoat and go through the same process of rubbing it down with a fabric softener sheet and then spraying our hands with bug spray and patting his jacket down with it as well. It seems to be working so far. For some reason, the regular OFF! and Deep Woods sprays have done nothing to keep the bugs at bay, so I did some digging and found a recipe to make a natural spray that's actually been working wonders. Thank you so much again to our mom for sending all the ingredients!!
Witch Hazel, at least 250 ml
Tea Tree Oil
(You can also add Lemongrass Oil and Peppermint Oil)
I mixed everything right in the bottle of witch hazel instead of bothering to dirty another container. My container was 500 ml, so you can adjust the number of oil drops to the amount of witch hazel you're working with. To the witch hazel, I added:
30 drops citronella oil
15 drops tea tree oil
15 drops lavender
Give it a good shake until it's cloudy and then I transferred it into smaller spray bottles that I labeled. Shake it before you use it each time, and be careful not to spray your face/eyes. It works pretty well, and it smells nicer than any chemically-laden spray we were using before. Hopefully it works for you too!