There is a bit of giving and take when it comes to the outdoors during the summer. With the wonderfully warm weather comes an increase in mosquitoes, flies, fire ants, ticks, bees, and other biting insects. While most bugs are simply annoying, some carry certain diseases and dangers. For example, tick-borne illnesses include Lyme disease, and those pesky mosquitos are linked to West Nile Virus, Zika, Heartworm, Malaria, Dengue Fever, Rift Valley Fever, among other conditions. While we can’t rid the world of insects, we can do our best to take precautions. Here are five suggestions for summer safety and biting bugs.
Suggestions for Summer Safety and Biting Bugs
- Research and Travel Plans: Whether you’re in your own backyard or backpacking across Europe, the first step is to be aware of your surroundings. Know what insects are in the area and plan accordingly. If you are headed for an adventure park anywhere in America, you better pack mosquito repellent. If you are traveling to an unfamiliar part of Africa or Asia, you will want to do some research. Check with the Centers for Disease Control for Special Travel Notices and other tips available on its website at www.cdc.gov.
- Repellents and Insecticides: It is often wise to apply insect repellent when heading outdoors in the summer months. Follow the label for application guidelines and age restrictions. Most people rely on EPA-registered repellents with chemicals like DEET, but you may choose organic repellents from natural products and essential oils available from health food stores. It is important to note that certain repellents will not work against ticks and other bugs, which emphasizes the need to read labels thoroughly to determine effectiveness.
- Clothing and Gear: Tightly tucked-in clothing covering your entire body provides a great barrier to most bugs. That includes pants tucked into boots. In the summer, however, you probably don’t want to be sweating in head-to-toe gear. Alas, certain outdoor clothing brands today make extremely lightweight and breathable pants, shirts, and socks that are perfect for summer adventures. Some clothing and boots now come pre-treated with special insecticides, but you may simply choose to spray non-treated clothes with appropriate repellents yourself. As for gear, you may also hang mosquito netting over your bed or other areas for added protection.
- Eating and Drinking: Many of us know that perfumes and floral fragrances attract insects, but did you know that consuming certain foods and drinks could make you more attractive to bugs? You might have noticed that insects enjoy feasting on you when you are drinking alcohol. Alcohol raises body temperature, which attracts Mosquitoes. Studies suggest that carbon dioxide in our breath and lactic acid emitted in our sweat also lures mosquitoes. Potassium-rich foods like bananas and avocados could increase lactic acid emissions. Garlic and apple cider vinegar, however, is said to help keep mosquitos disinterested.
- Home and Property: Be sure to keep windows and doors closed to prevent entry of biting bugs. For your home or business properties, there are chemical treatments, fogs, misting systems, fans, and other options for pest control to kill, deter, or prevent breeding of insects. Standing water on your property is a breeding ground for mosquito-borne viruses. It is important to eliminate standing water to protect yourself from these mosquito-borne viruses. Drain water from gutters, pool covers, garbage cans, flower pots, birdbaths, and other things that could collect rainwater.
We hope these simple tips help you stay well at home and abroad! Be sure to let us know via Twitter or Facebook how you like to keep the bugs away. [SEE THE SERVICES WEIGHT SUCCESS CAN PROVIDE YOU]