When bugs come to the campground

Dr. Marc-André Doré

Monday, July 25, 2022

Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors, but when you step outside your door, you share the environment with many insects. Most of these multi-legged creatures are harmless, if a little creepy, but others can cause a painful sting or bite.

If you want to enjoy all the pleasures of summer without a painful bite or dangerous sting, you need to protect yourself. And if you do succumb to the dangers of summer wildlife, you need to treat your insect bites and stings quickly.

Here are 10 tips for avoiding and treating summer bug bites and stings and other painful outdoor realities.

Protect yourself:

  1. Be careful with scents

    Some scents, especially flower bouquets, can attract bees, wasps and other stinging insects. Be aware of these associations and choose your perfumes, lotions and other personal care products carefully. 

  2. Long pants and long sleeves

    Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing and long pants when working outdoors. Be especially careful when pulling weeds and moving through weeds and tall grass.

  3. Natural Repellents

    Stock your garden with tiki torches, citronella and other insect repellents. These repellents aren't perfect, but they can reduce the number of annoying pests that share your outdoor environment.

  4. Insect repellent

    Apply a quality insect repellent every time you go outside, and reapply as needed. Carry a balloon repellent with you when you travel and use it as often as necessary.

Reduce the risk of contact

5 - Use a lint roller

To remove ticks from your clothing after spending a day in the woods or tall grass consider a lint roller. The bugs will stick to the surface of the lint roller, making them easier to remove. If you think you've already been bitten, save the tick and have it tested for Lyme disease and other dangerous pathogens. 

6 - Clean up your outdoor space

Clearing your yard of standing water can significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes. Search your yard for any places where mosquitoes might be breeding, from abandoned wading pools to discarded jar lids. Mosquitoes don't need a lot of space to set up their nests in water, so be vigilant and remove be vigilant and remove sources of standing water immediately. 

7 - Mowing the lawn

Keep your lawn well mowed to prevent pests from hiding in it. Short grass is much less likely to harbor ticks and other dangerous insects. 

What to do if you get bitten?

8 - Soothe the inflammation

To soothe the pain and itching of an insect bite or sting with an ice cube. The cold of the ice can relieve itching, redness and swelling, and your skin will feel better. 

9 - Relieve the skin

Keep an over-the-counter cortisone cream on hand for summer bites and insect bites. These creams are very effective at relieving the pain and itching of everything from bee stings to mosquito bites. 

10 - Reduce itching

Squeeze an aloe vera gel onto your skin immediately after an insect or bee sting. Aloe is a natural pain reliever, and it will also moisturize and soften your skin.

Summer is a wonderful time of year and a great time to be outside, but the swarming, biting, and stinging insects can make the warm weather much less enjoyable. The tips listed above can help you avoid summer bites and stings and make the most of the summer season.

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