How to Help Keep Bugs Away

by on June 7th, 2011 at 7:00 am

Summer is here, and that tends to mean more time spent outdoors and therefore more potential contact with pesky bugs! Before you head out to the beach, backyard barbecue, campground or other outdoor destination, be sure to prepare yourself for any insects you may encounter along the way!

While some insects will just cause an itchy bite that isn’t much more than a nuisance, other bugs can be much more harmful, spreading disease or even causing an allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock that could even be life-threatening.

  • Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and fire ants and are most commonly responsible for severe allergic reactions. Watch for trouble breathing and swelling of the throat and tongue. People who are highly allergic should inform friends or relatives of their condition before activities get underway. Keeping a medical ID tag next to other forms of ID in the wallet is always a good idea, as is having epinephrine available in the form of an Epi-pen or Ana-kit.
  • Mosquitoes are another common pest, and can transmit the West Nile virus. Applying a cold pack to the bite can help ease itching. Topical creams such as hydrocortisone creams or calamine lotion are also helpful to alleviate itching. You can also try applying a homemade paste of baking soda and water, or pure Witch Hazel.
  • Ticks are another potential health hazard, as they can spread Lyme disease. If you find a tick on your body, health professionals recommend grasping the tick with tweezers and removing it, then washing the area thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical attention if you experience a skin rash resembling a ‘bull’s eye” or fever within several weeks.

Help to ward off pests

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing light-colored, long sleeves and pants, especially around dusk and dawn
  • Avoid fragrant products such as scented perfumes, body lotions, soaps and shampoos
  • Repel bugs naturally with this home remedy: mix two drops of essential oil (like geranium, peppermint or eucalyptus, which can be found at health food stores) into two teaspoons of water. Rub onto skin.

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3 Responses to “How to Help Keep Bugs Away”

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  2. Shari

    Jul 7th, 2011

    Can this mixture to keep the bugs away be used on my dog?

  3. Ashley

    Jul 14th, 2011

    While geranium, peppermint and eucalyptus oils are known to be safe for dogs, a better option may be to use an all-natural shampoo, such as BeFree Flea Shampoo™, which cleanses while also helping to deter fleas, flies and mosquitoes for dogs.

    In addition, to help prevent fleas and bites, feed your pet a balanced, healthy diet that includes yeast and garlic, which can help make your pet less “attractive” to critters.

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