Surviving the Swarm: 7 Preparedness Tips for Dealing With Bugs Outdoors
There’s nothing quite like heading out into the great outdoors and immersing yourself in nature. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or simply enjoying a picnic in the park, being outside can be a rejuvenating experience. However, there is one aspect of outdoor activities that can quickly turn a pleasant outing into a nightmare: bugs.
Dealing with bugs outdoors is an inevitable part of being in nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. With a little preparedness and know-how, you can minimize the annoyance and discomfort that bugs can bring. In this article, we will share seven tips to help you survive the swarm and make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable.
1. Dress Appropriately
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from bugs is to dress appropriately. Wearing long sleeves and pants can provide a barrier against mosquito bites. Opt for light-colored clothing, as bugs are generally more attracted to dark colors.
Additionally, consider wearing a hat with a wide brim to shield your face from insects. If you’re planning to spend time in an area known for ticks, tuck your pants into your socks and wear shoes that cover your feet completely.
2. Use Bug Repellents
Bug repellents are an essential tool for keeping bugs at bay. There are various types of bug repellents available, including ones that contain DEET, a chemical compound that effectively repels insects. However, if you prefer a more natural approach, you can opt for repellents that contain essential oils like lemon eucalyptus or citronella.
When applying bug repellents, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. It’s also a good idea to avoid applying repellents to open cuts or wounds, as they can cause irritation. Remember to reapply the repellent as directed, especially if you’re sweating or swimming.
3. Make Use of Insect Screens
If you’re planning on spending time in an enclosed area such as a tent or a gazebo, consider using insect screens. Insect screens are a great way to keep bugs out while still allowing fresh air to circulate.
When setting up your tent or gazebo, make sure to inspect it for any holes or tears in the screens. Patch up any damaged areas, as even the tiniest hole can serve as an entry point for bugs.
4. Eliminate Standing Water
One of the most effective ways to reduce the bug population in your outdoor space is to eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes, in particular, breed in stagnant water, so it’s important to remove any containers that may collect rainwater or other sources of standing water.
Regularly empty and clean birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, and any other outdoor containers that can hold water. If you have a pond or a pool, consider using a fountain or a filter to keep the water flowing and discourage mosquito breeding.
5. Create a Natural Barrier
Plants can be your allies when it comes to repelling bugs. Certain plants, such as lemon balm, lavender, and marigolds, have natural insect-repelling properties. Planting these around your outdoor space can help keep bugs at bay.
Additionally, consider using citronella candles or torches to create a barrier against bugs. Citronella is a natural insect repellent and can be effective in outdoor settings. Just make sure to follow safety guidelines when using candles or torches, as open flames can present a fire hazard.
6. Keep Food Covered and Sealed
Bugs are attracted to the scent of food, so it’s essential to keep your meals covered and sealed. When picnicking or camping, use food covers or mesh netting to protect your food from insects.
Store your food in sealed containers or coolers to maintain freshness and prevent bugs from getting inside. Avoid leaving food out for extended periods, as this can attract unwanted guests.
7. Stay Calm and Carry On
Finally, it’s important to stay calm and not let bugs ruin your outdoor experience. Bugs are a natural part of the ecosystem, and encountering them is inevitable. Keep in mind that most bugs are harmless and simply looking for food or mates.
If a bug lands on you, gently brush it away instead of panicking and swatting at it. Remember, most bug bites and stings are more irritating than dangerous.
My 2 Cents
Dealing with bugs outdoors doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By following these tips, you can minimize the annoyance and discomfort that bugs can bring. Dressing appropriately, using bug repellents, and creating a natural barrier with plants can go a long way in keeping bugs at bay.
Eliminating standing water, keeping food covered and sealed, and using insect screens can also help reduce the bug population in your outdoor space. Finally, it’s important to stay calm and not let bugs spoil your outdoor adventures. Remember, bugs are just a part of nature, and with a little preparedness, you can survive the swarm and enjoy the great outdoors.