Lifewatch: Keeping bugs away

WILMINGTON --  You don't have to turn to chemicals to fight off bugs, there are some natural alternatives to prevent you from getting eaten up.

Not only do bug bites interfere with outdoor activities, but mosquitoes can transmit the West Nile Virus.

It is now recommended that people apply bug repellant before going outside to reduce the risk of being bitten.

Fortunately, nature has provided us with alternatives to chemical bug repellents.

To get rid of the pesky creatures you can use sprays and ointments that contain essential oils of lemon-eucalyptus, calendula, or lavender.

You can use citronella candles during outdoor activities.  Also, if you eat fresh garlic, because insects can smell it a mile away.

Rid your yard of standing water, such as buckets; clogged rain gutters and kids toys; which attract mosquitoes.

If you do get a bite or sting, apply one drop of lavender or tea tree oil directly to the skin to soothe bites and stings.

You can also make a paste of baking soda and water to soothe the skin and draw out a stinger.

Reported by Kristy Ondo