Now that spring has hit its stride, it’s one of the best times of the year for hiking. A foray into the great outdoors does wonders for the mind and body. Yes, there’s nothing like a deep breath of fresh air.
Still, a good hike can easily be ruined – or at least tainted – by pesky insects. Mosquito bites, ticks coming home on your clothes, and bee stings are quite unwelcome. Not only is such an experience annoying, but it can also endanger your health. What can you do to keep you protect yourself from bug bites and stings?
Yes Pest, Inc. is here with some important tips, just in time for hiking season.
How to Repel Mosquitoes
As thirsty blood-suckers, mosquitoes are the culprit of carrying and spreading many diseases, including the Zika Virus.
When you’re on a hike, it’s best to wear long sleeves and long pants to protect as much surface area of your skin as possible. If the temperature is hot outside, try wearing ultra-light fabrics, designed for hiking.
Bring a fold-up mosquito screen with you to set up if you decide to stop for a picnic. Avoid stagnant water, as this is often a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Finally, wear mosquito repellent. Find a brand with ingredients you feel comfortable wearing, and apply it according to the directions on the bottle.
Are you wondering which mosquito repellent works best? Check out NPR’s report on a 2015 study conducted by the Journal of Insect Science on which is the most effective mosquito repellent on the market.
How to Keep Watch for Ticks
Beyond mosquitoes, it’s important to protect yourself from ticks.
While hiking, it’s wise to periodically check your clothing, hair, and skin for ticks. If you’re hiking with a friend our spouse, ask for their help to check your back, neck, and top of your head.
With regard to dress and grooming, the Appalachian Mountain Club recommends “Wearing light-colored garments makes it easier to spot a tick crawling on you. Ticks latch easily onto coarser weaves, such as those in heavy canvas pants; opt instead for smoother, tightly woven fabrics.”
The Club also recommends tucking your pant legs into your socks. It may not be the most fashion-forward statement, but it might save you from Lyme disease.
Find out more about effective tick prevention and repellent from the Global Lyme Alliance.
How to Avoid Bee, Wasp, and Hornet Stings
A bee sting is unpleasant for anyone, but it can be serious and even life-threatening for someone who is allergic to bees.
Here are things to help you avoid the wrath of a bee, wasp, or hornet:
- Refrain from wearing bright colors.
- Do not panic or swat at a bee.
- Steer clear of blossoming flowers.
- Don’t wear products with strong fragrances.
- Keep leftover food put away.
- Move away slowly if you spot a nest or swarm.
- Never throw objects at or hit a nest.
- Wear protective clothing.
If you have had an allergic reaction to bees in the past, ask your doctor about getting an emergency epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen) and carry it with you at all times. Take extra precautions to avoid bees and cover your skin.
Mayo Clinic also recommends “Talk to your doctor or an allergy specialist about prevention measures such as immunotherapy (‘allergy shots’) to avoid a similar reaction in case you get stung again.”
Beware of the bees!
Residential Pest Control
Hiking is a sure-fire way to run into insects, but sometimes you don’t have to go too far from your home to find them. Often, insects will find you.
If you’re tired of dealing with insects invading your home, get in touch with Yes Pest, Inc. We offer professional mosquito, tick, and bee control. Our pest control services will help you take back your property and get back to enjoying your lovely spring.