Current Moon Phase

Waning Crescent
14% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Bug Bite? Reach for the toothpaste.

Bug Bite? Reach for the toothpaste.

Summer is coming, and so are all of the little annoyances associated with it. But if you prepare yourself with a few simple home remedies, you and your family can enjoy the summer weather, and avoid the sting from bug bites.

Relief can be as close as your own front yard, or even your spice rack. Many herbs, including some we consider to be “weeds,” have medicinal properties that can help take the “sting” out of insect bites. Here are just a few:

– Mix a dilution of 5 percent tea tree oil with aloe vera gel. This mixture will soothe bug bites and rashes, and will also help prevent infection.

– Dampen a Tums or Rolaids tablet and rub it on an insect bite or sting.

– Rub a paste made from commercial meat tenderizer and a little bit of water on a bite. This neutralizes the poison in just a few minutes.

– Apply fresh crushed parsley directly to an insect bit to neutralize the poison and stop the pain.

– Apply a paste of table salt mixed with water to the bite.

– A fresh cut onion quickly applied to a sting will prevent swelling and redness, and will stop the pain.

– Regular flavored toothpaste, when applied to an insect bite (especially fire ant bites) will immediately relieve itching.

But what about stopping bugs before they bite?

Aside from using a natural mosquito repellent, foregoing perfumes, colognes, and other scented products will help some.

Knowing when your body is most vulnerable is also a plus. Carbon dioxide attracts mosquitoes, as does moisture, including perspiration. That means mosquitoes may find you extra-tasty when you are hot or have been exercising.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.