Beware the Insects: AVOID Them!

By Heather Legg

It’s getting close to summer and most of us are spending a lot more time outdoors in the nice weather. Our activities take us outside, too, ball games, swimming pools, picnics, all kinds of events. However, there are certain guests we try to avoid while we are outside, the insects. For some of us they are just a nuisance, for others, they can be deadly. Anyone prefers to stay away from the insects, for those with allergies, it’s imperative that they avoid whatever it is they are allergic to; bees, wasps, ants, even mosquitoes. Since these insects have different habitats and characteristics, avoiding one is not always the same as avoiding the other. Here are some tips on avoiding a variety of insects:

Ants: Stay away from ant hills!!! Teach your children (especially if they are allergic) what an ant hill looks like and to stay clear of it. Sure, it’s tempting for a child to step on one or poke a hill with a stick to see the ants run out, but that can lead to an ant attack, something no one wants! If you are in a yard or open field, keep an eye out where you are walking and be careful where you step. If you are spreading out a blanket, check all around and make sure your area is completely free of ant hills before settling in. If you are gardening or digging, check your area as well, ant hills can be partially underground, and the ants won’t be happy when you dig into their home.

Bees and Wasps: When outside, omit perfume, scented lotions, hairspray, anything with fragrance. Bees and wasps are attracted to scent and this is a good step in avoidance. Likewise, they are attracted to sugar. Drink water instead of sugary soda when outside and you will be less attractive to the bees and wasps. If you are drinking soda or something sugary, put your cup away or throw your can or bottle away as soon as you are finished. Also, steer clear of the trash can, with all the sweet smells, this is a favorite place for these stinging insects.

Mosquitoes
: Maybe not so deadly as the others can be, but certainly annoying and uncomfortable. For avoidance, toss out any standing water around your house. That goes for rain water collected in anything, water in your watering can, even a birdbath or dog bowl. If you have an outside dog who needs water, just change the water frequently. Use bug spray when you are outside, especially at dusk. Check the label for DEET and the amount of it. There are DEET free sprays which you may prefer. If you have a baby, use mosquito netting on his or her stroller or bassinet outside. Long sleeves or pants can be helpful, too, but hot.

Take these tips into account this summer and use your common sense. Hopefully it will be an insect sting free one for you.

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