Bug bites are annoying, there’s no doubt about it — but they can also be dangerous. Summertime comes with its own list of unique hazards, and bug bites are one of them. Mosquitos carry diseases like Zika, and ticks are spreading Lyme disease more often than in previous years.
You remembered sunscreen. But in your haste to get ready for the day and to cook these summertime food favorites, you forgot bug spray. And many of the foods you’re likely to eat can actually make you even tastier to mosquitos.
In some cases, though, enjoying your favorite foods can actually help to keep these pests at bay. None of these foods will work as well as real bug spray. Some of them are rumored to work, but science hasn’t been able to confirm whether or not they’re effective. But if you’re in a pickle, they could help ward bugs away — or at least make you feel like you’re doing something to repel them.
There are number of things you can do to actually prevent bugs from feasting on you, like avoiding strongly scented lotions, soaps, and perfumes, wearing light-colored clothes, and most importantly, always using bug repellant. But none of these options are as enjoyable as eating. So if you’re tired of being a buffet for bugs, here are some foods that may help ward off nature’s pests.
Holly Van Hare and Naa Ako-Adjei contributed to this story.