With warm weather already upon us, many of us are thinking about all the fun outdoor activities we want to do. However, as we head outdoors for the summer, it’s important to remember to protect ourselves from biting and stinging insects.
At best, bug bites and stings are a nuisance, and at worst they can be dangerous. Some bug bites—particularly those of certain spiders like black widows and brown recluses—are venomous. Other kinds of bites can cause disease (including Lyme disease and West Nile virus.)
Another major risk is the threat of an allergic reaction to a bug bite. Just a single bite can be enough to cause health problems, and many people don’t discover that they are allergic until they are bitten.
Staying safe outdoors
For these reasons, it’s important to protect yourself against bug bites as you play outdoors. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your time outdoors while remaining safe:
- Keep as much of your body covered as possible. It’s natural to want to wear as little as possible in the hot weather, but exposed skin is a great target for biting insects. Some bugs can still bite through clothes, but it’s less common. Fortunately, there are some really lightweight pants and long-sleeved shirts specifically designed for outdoor activities that won’t leave you drenched in sweat after only a few minutes.
- Avoid wearing bright colors. Many flying insects are attracted to bright colors, so it’s best to put on darker, muted colors as you prepare to spend time outside.
- Use insect repellent. Insect repellent is generally effective against things like ticks and mosquitoes, but certain kinds can also come with their own hazards. DEET—one of the active ingredients in many common repellents—has been proven effective, but it can also be harmful if overused. Other, more environmentally-friendly alternatives exist—just be sure to read and follow the safety instructions on the container.
- Avoid hanging around areas with standing water. Standing water is a breeding ground for many types of insects, including the kinds of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. If there is standing water in your yard, hire a professional to grade your yard so it stays free of water.
Summer should be an enjoyable and low stress season—follow these tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Keep your home bug free!
Of course, once you’re inside your house you shouldn’t have to worry about bug bites. If your house is facing an insect or rodent infestation of any sort, contact your Utah pest control experts. We’ll make your house comfortable and secure again!
– Tim Crain