How to Tell the Bugs to Bug Off!
The bugs of summer can be a pesky nuisance when you are trying to enjoy the outdoors. Mosquito repellent methods such as your clothing and applying sprays/lotions can go a long ways in protecting you and your family.
Insect repellent sprays/lotions block the sensors on the insect's antennae, preventing them from landing and biting. Try to look for ones containing DEET as the active ingredient.
A word of warning. Mosquito repellents contain pesticides that are not good for us and can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Another great option is to spray it onto your clothing - including your socks and shoes.
Your first defence in mosquito repellents is to dress appropriately:
- Clothing should always be in lighter colours. Also note that bees and wasps are attracted to brighter colours.
- Mosquitoes and black flies are attracted to both dark colours and blue jeans. Colours to avoid are red, black, blue and dark-brown.
- Clothing should always be loose fitting and made with a tight weave.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts that are closed at both the collar and wrists.
- Tuck long pants into your socks - keeps insects away from your ankles. Boots are recommended.
When it is very warm outside and you do not want to wear long sleeves and pants, mosquito repellent clothing can be very effective.
- For longer-lasting protection, try spraying your mosquito nets with an insecticide. If the net is touching your skin, biting can still occur - the insecticide spray helps prevent this.
- Bug hats (ones with netting surrounding it) will keep the bugs away from your head (especially your ears!). Tuck the headnet into the neck of your clothing for extra protection.
- Ideal mesh size is 18-25 holes per sq. cm.
- Synthetic nets are the most durable and the lightest. Look for Denier 100 to prevent tearing.
Other Considerations in Repelling Bugs
Choose a dry, open area for your picnic. Thick woods prevent the breeze from blowing insects away, and bugs like to hide in tall grasses. It is also best to avoid stagnant bodies of water where mosquitoes breed.
Protect your Food:
Keep all food items covered with foil, plastic wrap or Picnic Bug Screen Net. Keep food stored in your picnic cooler/basket until serving time. Sweet drinks attract wasps, be especially carefully when drinking canned pop or juice (or pour the drink into a glass).
What You Eat:
The foods you eat can make you more appealing to insects. For example, mosquitoes love the scent your skin exudes after eating a banana. If you eat garlic, however, your skin exudes an odor that will keep the pests away.
Floral scents of any kind attract bugs. Avoid using perfume, as well as scented soap, deodorant and shampoo. Do bathe yourself regularly though. Mosquitoes, liking warmth and humidity, are attracted to people who perspire a lot.
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