Summer is here! Longer days, abundant sunshine—and more creeping, crawling, and flying insect companions. Most of the time, bug bites are little more than an itchy nuisance. But some ticks and mosquitoes can transmit serious illness, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or West Nile virus. Either way, their bites are something you want to avoid. We asked our experts to share natural bug bite prevention and treatment tips to keep insects from bugging you this season.

Herbal bug repellants

While you’re prettying up the porch and patio and filling the flower beds, try adding some insect-repelling plants.

“Nature provides a variety of botanicals that can reduce the likelihood of getting bug bites,” says Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D, RN, a registered herbalist, medical-school instructor, and author of The Natural Medicine Chest.