This week, I’m going to help you out with a really effective insect repellent recipe from my Supermarket Super Gardens book. Have you been looking for one that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals? Well, look no further! Bugs hate this formula, but it’s safe enough to spray on kids. What’s more, it’s a snap to make. Here’s how:

Put ½ cup each of fresh mint, lavender, thyme, and rose-scented geraniums in a bowl. Heat 1 cup of white vinegar just to the boiling point, and pour it over the herbs. Cover the bowl, and let the herbs steep until the vinegar has cooled to room temperature. Then strain out the solids and pour the liquid into a handheld sprayer bottle.

Spritz all of your exposed skin with the potion before you head outdoors, and reapply it every couple of hours. Annoying bugs will bug you no more!

(Note: Store your repellent in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about two months.)

And here’s a few more clever ways to keep bugs at bay when you’re grillin’ or chillin’ in your backyard:

·        When you’re kicking back in the shade of a tree, sipping a nice, cool drink, don’t share it with a bunch of bugs. Just cover the top of your glass with aluminum foil, poke a hole in it, and push a straw through the hole. Then sip to your heart’s content—and the bugs’ frustration.

·        Bees and skeeters both flee from the odor of scented dryer sheets. So before you head outside in the good old summertime, tie one of these aromatic squares through one of your belt loops or buttonholes.

·        Toss a handful of sage or rosemary onto the coals of your barbecue. You’ll keep the biters at bay and spice up your chow at the same time!

·        Smooth a bit of mentholated rub onto your arms, legs, and neck before you head out to your garden. It’ll fend off ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting bugs.

·        Rub a slice of raw onion over your exposed skin, and the bitin’ bugs will give you the cold shoulder. (But then again, so will your friends and family!)

For more bug-bustin’, garden-growin’, weed-whackin’ magic, check out my Supermarket Super Gardens book—FREE for 21 days! It’s filled with terrific tips that’ll help you whip even the saddest yard into tip-top shape.