I’m not sure how it is where you live in the summer time … but around here, for the past few years, we have been getting earlier springs and summers. The longer stretch of warmth is nothing to complain about right now, but one thing we have noticed is that the stinging insects are higher in number and more intent with their vengeance.
Nothing spoils a fun summer day outdoors quite like nasty stings. Certain plants, such as stinging nettle, can cause a painful sting, and of course insects from bees to mosquitoes can bite and sting. I’ve come across some tips to share with you on avoiding these incredibly unpleasant encounters.
1. Wear Socks
I know, I know … I can’t stand wearing socks in the summer either! However, insects like chiggers and ticks tend to congregate on the ankles. Wear socks, preferably white so as to see any critters, that come up over your ankles.
2. Put on Your Long Pants
Clothing is the best protector. Even though it’s often hot in the summer, wearing long pants of thin material helps protect your legs from being exposed to stinging plants or insects.
3. Pull Out Your Funky Summer Hats
Wearing a cool, shady hat helps guard against stinging insects that would get into your hair, such as ticks.
4. Get Out Your Long Sleeved Shirts
While summer can be hot, wearing a light, loose-fitting shirt with long sleeves can be quite comfortable. Bees, mosquitoes, ticks, and stinging plants can not penetrate cloth, and the loose, flowing nature of the fabric keeps biting insects from getting hold.
5. Stay Diligent With Your Lawn
Regular weeding, mowing and trimming will reduce your risk of brushing up against a prickly plant. Keeping the foliage short also reduces the number of ticks. As a sidenote to that, tea tree oil is a great natural repellant for ticks. I use tea tree oil in my children’s baths and shampoo during tick season.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Traps
Set up traps in your backyard to catch wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and other stinging insects.
7. Use Some Specialized Gear
You may want to look in to special net clothing that is used by campers, hikers, and bee keepers. You can get fine net shirts and head coverings that also cover your face.
8. Wear Some Insect Repellant
You can choose from conventional DEET-containing sprays, but of course these are becoming less and less popular these days. You may wish to go for a more natural approach with herbal repellants.
9. Put Your Citronella Candles to Good Use
Burning several large citronella candles around your backyard can really help repel stinging insects. And of course, the smell of citronella is lovely and uplifting!