8 Tips for a Bug Free Environment
No matter what our best intentions are, being outdoors leads us into contact with the insect world. Many of these bugs can sting or bite - leading to irritations or potentially more dangerous results.
Ideally, deterring them from your body would be in the first place would help you to avoid the bites.
- Always wear shoes, socks, long pants, and wear a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt to cover your skin in a light-colour. Not only is this good practice to avoid insects but also to protect your skin from the sun.
- Sweetened beverages, like soda and juice, attract stinging insects. Be especially careful of pop cans and bees. When my daughter was small, she got a bee sting in her mouth because a bee had climbed in the can when she drank it. NOT FUN!
- Hairspray and perfume can have the same draw. Use of non scented soaps or handmade soaps with certain essential oils can help in this regard.
- Empty, or cover the pool at the end of the day, and don't leave any potted plants outside that may contain standing water as these are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It is said that soap will kill mosquitoe larvae, so we pour a bit of liquid castile soap into any puddles we may have during mosquitoe season. This is a good environmental option as it contains no synthetic scents and is biodegrable.
- Most insects are active after dusk, so avoiding the outdoors after the sun is setting is a great way to keep your skin safe. If you do decide to spend time on the porch after sunset, you can purchase citronella candles, and place them on the patio tables. Citronella, when used directly on the skin as a repellent, needs to be diluted to avoid skin irritation and reapplied frequently to retain its potent effect.
- Quite effective and more economical bug zappers are available now at many local stores.
- Bats. It would be a fun family project to make a bat house, and they are extremely effective at reducing the insect populations. I suspect that chickens may be as well. We have them, the chicken coop seems to attract them, and they love to eat them! Plus you get eggs and non factory farmed chicken.
- Check your screens and any small holes you may have leading into your house before spring. It is amazing how a small hole in a screen can make for sleepless nights and cranky, itchy children (and husbands, dogs etc)