The sun is out, the birds are chirping and a weekend on the trail is calling. One thing you don’t want to ruin the adventurous fun is bug bites. Creepy crawlies are everywhere in the woods. They are itchy, infuriating and they bite – which is annoying anytime, but also dangerous depending on who’s doing the biting! Take a look at the following bug protection tips to free yourself from a whole host of flying or crawling critters.
Protect your clothes
Mosquitos can detect the smell of blood from 100 feet, so it’s a good idea to protect yourself from top to toe. One of the most effective ways to do this is by wearing outdoor clothing treated with an insect-repellent chemical called permethrin. Permethrin remains active for several months; keeping the bugs at bay without any extra thought. However the chemical can be expensive and washing your clothing reduces the effectiveness of its bug protection massively.
Lotions and potions
The smell of your skin makes a huge impact on the likelihood of getting a bug bite. You should avoid wearing floral perfumes, fragrant lotions and scented sunscreens. Wearing these fruity concoctions is set to leave you smelling like a tasty afternoon snack for any passing creepy crawlies! Instead of standard deodorants use unscented options and wear oil of lemon or citronella, as they’re highly effective, natural insect repellents. Most outdoor stores also stock neutral-smelling and biodegradable soaps perfect for the trail.
Change your diet
Food also plays its part in bug protection. Consuming foods high in salt and potassium increase the amount of lactic acid produced by the body. Bugs love lactic acid!
When you’re on the trail, it’s hard to avoid foods that are rich in these – since you’re trying to keep you electrolytes up. However, if you’re looking to keep the bugs away on a quick day hike or backyard adventures, try to limit your intake.
Many bug bites from mosquitos, flies, even bee stings are harmless unless you’re allergic or the insect is carrying a disease. If bitten, stay calm and don’t panic. Panicking will increase blood flow around the body elevating the potency of toxins released and the pain you feel. It’s not only bites that you should stay calm for, but also stings. If faced with a swarm of angry bees the best thing to do is move away slowly as any sudden movements can make the situation turn dangerous in an instant.
Before going out to any mosquito-ridden foreign countries, take your malaria pills and any other recommend shots. If you are allergic to bug bites or stings, carry your EpiPen wherever you are and make sure your travel buddies know how to use it. Should you find a tick or spider bite – keep a close eye on the bite spot as well as for any odd symptoms you show and visit your doctor as soon as you’re out of the woods if anything develops – especially a bullseye around the tick bite.
Ticks are incredibly troublesome creatures. These carriers of Lyme disease hide in long tall grass, so it’s important to cover as much bare skin as possible when trekking through a field. Sleeves you can to roll down, high socks and long, lightweight pants are beneficial for keeping not only ticks away but also spiders, bees, mosquitos and the sun in high temperatures. In areas thick with mosquitos, hats and nets are also an option to keep you bug free.
Look where you’re going
Spiders like nothing more than to spend a night in a nice warm, dry and safe walking boot. While out on the trail, always be cautious when putting on clothes or shoes. Shake them off first to get rid of any unwanted guests. Also err on the side of caution when taking a seat on grass or rocks, you never know whose seat you’re stealing!
Wear lightly coloured clothes
Lightly-colored clothes are a must in any bug hot spots. Not only do they make any dark-colored beasties visible, but they also fail to attract them. Plus, bees are especially attracted to bright colors, mistaking them for flowers, so opting for a more subdued look could be beneficial bug protection.
Follow these tips to ensure a comfortable bug-free weekend on the trail.