As much as we look forward to summer, there’s definitely one part of it that we dread. Along with all of that beautiful weather comes those pesky bugs, particularly the mosquitoes and ticks. Not only do they drive you crazy with their relentless biting, they can also carry deadly diseases.
While both ticks and mosquitoes are trying to take a sip of your blood, they each will attack differently. And, they each have their own most effective preventative measures. Here are some tips to help you win the battle with ticks and mosquitoes this summer.
Believe it or not, these pesky little bloodsuckers are actually searching for you. They’ll fly at a safe altitude looking for their prey below. And, when they see you, they dive in and dig in. Their stings not only itch like crazy, but they can also transmit West Nile virus and cause encephalitis. Here are some ways to avoid them.
Awnings and umbrellas: If you are sitting outside under a canopy of some sort, they won’t be able to find you as quickly.
Standing water: That’s the perfect environment for them to breed. If you have any stagnant pools of water on your property, mosquitoes will be laying their eggs there.
Repellents: They do a great job of keeping mosquitoes away from you. You can find repellents in sprays or lotions. There are also battery operated clip-on repellents that work well. You can even search around online and find some easy and effective DIY ways to make your own mosquito repellent.
Plants: Some plants will attract mosquitoes, and some will repel them. You can plant catnip, basil, lavender, or marigolds, just to name a few of the plants that will help keep them away.
Clothing: If you are dressed like a pretty flower, they’ll notice it and want to check you out. The same thing goes for your perfume or cologne. If you smell good enough to eat, they’ll be taking a nibble.
Your home: Remember when you parents would get upset if you kept running in and out of the house when you were a kid? Well, it was because you were letting bugs inside. Keep your doors closed as much as possible, and make sure that any screens are in good shape.
Timing: They are much more active in the evening and the early morning, damp hours. Although you can still encounter them in broad daylight, you’ll want to put more preventative measures in place during the darker hours.
Ticks are either hiding in tall grass or already hitched on their host. They aren’t too picky about what their food source is, as long as there’s plenty of blood. Ticks are associated with infecting their host with Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other diseases. Here are some ways to keep you, your family, and your pets safe from ticks this summer.
Landscaping: Keep everything outside neat and tidy. Ticks love to hide in tall grass or weeds waiting for their prey.
Clothing: Your best defense is to keep your skin covered if you are in wooded areas or anywhere else where ticks could be. Long pants, boots, hats, high socks, and long-sleeved shirts will keep them from latching onto your skin. It also a good idea to wear lighter colored clothing so you can see the little critters if they try to hitch a ride.
DEET: If you are using a repellent, make sure it’s at least 20% DEET for the best protection.
Pets: If you have pets that spend any time outside in the summer, make sure to check their fur for ticks regularly.
Your skin: You should also be inspecting your own skin after you have been outside. Ticks like to hide on the warmer parts of your body and will start to burrow in quickly.
You can still enjoy all of Mother Nature’s beauty this summer without worrying about being attacked by mosquitoes and ticks. You already know that they’ll be out there waiting. Now, you have a few defenses to keep you safe.