6 Kid-Friendly Tricks to Keep Bugs From Bugging You at Your Next BBQ

My summers always look like this: grill, relax, and whip up lots of mmm-worthy margaritas. NEVER do my grillin' and chillin' plans include getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and bees.

Unfortunately, my blood-sucking and bothersome insect frenemies know just how to crash a good time, and I'm usually in the corner of every barbecue pissed and pouting, full of bug bites.

To top it all off, I hate using bug spray. It's too sticky, too smelly, and too damn expensive. Personally, I'm making it a point to find another alternative. So with that in mind, check out these 6 chemical-free, low-budget, and kid-friendly remedies that naturally ward off those icky insects. The best part? You've probably got all the ingredients at home.


1. Wipe down tables and chairs with undiluted white vinegar as a party precursor. Yeah, the scent is a little bold at first, but remember: if the bugs can't get past the smell, they can't get through to you!

2. A covered jar of jam or jelly a few feet away keeps bees busy. They go buck wild for nectar, so set the jar aside and cha-ching! No bees, no problems.

3. Fill a bowl with water and sugar and make the best bug juice! If you've got little ones to think of, put them in charge of this sugary meal. For a splash of color (bugs LOVE bright colors), add a dash of food coloring. The bugs will love it!

4. Make a "barbecue bomb" with rosemary, basil, and sage. Let the herbs burn all night on the grill -- just don't keep them on the open flame. Apparently bugs hate the smell emitted by the herbs. Partygoers -- 1, bugs -- 0.

5. Set aside lemon, lime, and orange peels instead of tossing 'em. They make perfect centerpieces and work overtime to keep the bugs at bay. If you're extra daring (and like to smell sweet), rub the peels on your skin -- they act as a natural repellent, and mosquitoes and gnats can't stand the scent!

6. Pour the bugs a glass of red wine if you're not up for rubbing fruit peels all over yourself. They'll either be too drunk or too distracted from the sweet taste to even remember they're there to munch on you.

And if you have to give in, give in. Put the bug spray on, light a few Citronellas, hell, splurge for the mosquito net. Who cares?!

What do you do to keep the bugs away? Do you have any other natural remedies that work?


Image via James Jordan/Flickr

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