Wednesday, 21 March 2007


(Click on title for a link about Glenveagh National Park)

With the onset of warmer weather we are finding that the insects are increasing in numbers. Here at clean and green we have been looking into a few of the best treatments for insect bites. The other evening I was pottering around in the garden and was eaten by the midges. I remember visiting Glenveagh National Park one humid summers day. The tourists kept smacking their own legs and faces as the midges feasted happily. The staff however had no such trouble. They were burning peat in tins and kept them close to them when they were working in the grounds. It was very effective! One of the most unpleasant things in summer is to be stung by a wasp or a bee. Here are a few suggestions to ease the pain if it happens to you or your children.


The most effective treatment for bee and wasp stings comes from the kitchen cupboards. Treatment is different for both stings though as bee stings are acid and wasp stings are alkaline. Bees leave their stings in but wasps don’t. With a bee sting the first thing to do will be to remove the sting. Then sooth the skin with bicarbonate of soda mixed into a solution with water. This will counteract the acidity. Wasp stings should simply be bathed in vinegar. Don’t get the two remedies mixed up or the sting could hurt more. This will help you remember.

B stands for Bee and Bicarbonate and W and V look sort of similar in a way!

If either sting is in the mouth then sucking an ice cube should help.

Young children and a few adults can be allergic to the stings. The first signs are swelling and difficulty breathing. If this happens seek medical help immediately.
Plants for around the barbie that don't attract bees and wasps

Most insect bites are acid, so if you are being driven mad by itching you could use an old country remedy- a dab or two of your own urine. It works (apparently!)

For those of you who dislike the idea the best antidote is a mild alkaline such as bicarbonate of soda. This is mixed with water and dabbed onto the bite. Soap made into a lather then rubbed in can help too.

More on wasps

Even more on wasps, removal of nests

Flies can get to be a real nuisance at this time of year. You daren’t leave anything out on the kitchen worktops or leave anything uncovered from fear of the flies laying eggs. Flies of different types dislike different plants I’ve found. In time gone by farmers used to tie bunches of elder leaves to the bridles of horses to keep away the flies from their eyes. We’re trying to use this method on Max, our dog but he’s not too happy about it!

Houseflies have different tastes. Nettles are supposed to keep flies away. Cut them and hang them up out of the way so you don’t get stung. If this sounds a bit dangerous then try rue. Farmers use this plant to keep rodents off their haystacks. Be careful when you handle it, as the sap is a skin irritant. Flies are supposed to dislike tansy as well. I planted a load in the polythene tunnel last year and it did keep the large flies out. Mint is effective if grown near the windows and doors as well. This is best grown in pots so that it doesn’t take over the garden.. Grow basil in pots, this deters the flies and you can take the pot out into the garden when you are having a meal outside.

The only other methods that we can think of at the moment are to get a bug gun, which fires a plastic net onto the fly and squashes them against the window, (a newspaper would be just as effective) or train your dog up to eat them. We had a dog that used to do that but we had to clean the windows two or three times a day where her wet nose had been.


1 comment:

European Walnut Worktops said...


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