There are two things that can spoil your fun outdoors – bugs, and the giant crocs shown in Lake Placid. We can’t do anything about the crocodiles, but about bugs we have a couple of ideas that you could use to your advantage. This is important not only because bug bites are painful but also because mosquitoes are known to cause malaria. Let us show you how to win the war on bugs without having to invade Klendathu.
1. Clothes make the human – You should have the freedom to dress as you please without bug censorship, but wearing light colored, loose fitting clothes with a hat to go ought to keep the bugs at bay. As we all know, mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored clothing and they can really bite through tight clothes.
2. Make friends – Have a colony of bats in your backyard and they will eat your bugs for you. Contrary to what some people may think, bats don’t suck blood, so you are safe in that department, but if you have any trees bearing fruits, you can probably wave goodbye to those. This wasn’t a joke, by the way: building a bat house is a legitimate bug repelling strategy.
3. Smell awful – Use garlic juice on yourself and you will scare those bugs away. Problem is, you could repel humans as well. Not recommended unless you are in a really tight spot or prefer enjoying the sun all by yourself.
4. Don’t let them tick you off – If you are facing a tick infestation – they can really get on your nerves – and skin, simply create a barrier with wood chips. For some reason, they can’t seem to be able to get past a wood chip pile.
5. Use Citronella – Citronella is available in oil, candle and coil forms – you can use it to repel insects of all kinds with great success. This one smells wonderful as well, albeit a bit strong.
6. Vanilla is not only for ice creams – Use vanilla extract on your skin if you grow tired of the Citronella scent and you will be protected. Just wear it like perfume on your pulse points after having diluted it with a bit of water (50 percent dilution recommended).
7. Scare them away – Anecdotal evidence suggests that ultrasonic repellents that mimic the buzzing of dragonflies (that thrive on mosquitoes) can scare mosquitoes away. There is not enough scientific evidence to back this up but definitely worth a try.
8. Burn them – Low voltage, rechargeable ‘rackets’ are available that can literally burn the bugs. Let the kids have fun with those. Make sure the kids are not too young because the low voltage can still give a mild, stinging shock if handled in an improper manner – supervise at all times or do it yourselves.
9. Send smoke signals – A lot of smoke will drive bugs away. You can create smoke by burning (safely) a small pile of dried leaves or even old clothes. Don’t work up a full fledged fire. As soon as the fire starts, cover it with something to create smoke. Don’t go with this idea if there’s a lot of dry stuff lying around.
10. Smell good – Keeping dryer sheets in your pockets is supposed to repel mosquitoes. If this doesn’t work, at least you will still come out smelling good.
11. Dress to kill – There’s a line of clothing made with certain chemicals that are safe for humans but fatal to bugs. Once they alight on you they are done for. Take this route if you enjoy walking through a bug infested area (with protective covering for your face and head) and love the feeling of power it gives you to see bugs dropping off you right and left. If you are the non-violent type, use clothes made of netting to keep the innocent creatures from harming you.
12. Mow that lawn – Adult mosquitoes lounge on tall grasses and weeds during the day before having you for dinner in the evening. Actually, there are mosquitoes that are always hungry and have no respect for tradition and will drink your blood during the day as well. Still, it helps to keep them off your lawn and away from you if you keep the grass trimmed and weed free.
13. Use a deodorant – Only, this deodorant will be made of your mouthwash. This works because the standard mouthwash will have menthol, thymol and eucalyptol which are all effective against bug onslaughts. You can also use either one of these three ingredients if you can find them in your local store.
14. Don’t smell too good – Skip the perfumed stuff – shampoo, soap, deo – anything that makes you smell extra special. Apparently, bugs prefer their food flavored and if you smell good, chances are, they will take it for granted that you will taste good as well.
15. Grow an anti-bug garden – Visit the horticulture expert nearest you to know more about bug repellent plants that you can grow in your garden – we know about catnip, rosemary and lemon balm. Catnip juice rubbed on skin also keeps bugs away.
16. Use netting – Sometimes, things can really get out of hand, and then, nets come in handy. Definitely use on baby strollers and, in addition, you can create an outdoor screen house to enjoy the outdoors with your entire family without worrying about being bitten.
17. Stagnancy is bad
Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure you don’t have any in and around your home. Don’t choose an outdoor location that may have stagnant pools of water near it. Drill small holes in garbage bins so that rain water does not collect in them. Spray a little oil (of any kind) to kill mosquito larvae if you can’t get rid of an instance of stagnant water.
18. Use bug lights – Bug lights are ones that the bugs don’t flock to. They are a bit yellowish and kind of dim, but in areas with high infestation of bugs of any kind, these are highly recommended especially if you plan to be out in your yard at night.
19. Don’t go out at night – We didn’t mean to sound ominous – but mosquitoes are at their element at night. If you can schedule daytime outdoor activities, you will have to face lesser number of interested parties out to sample your blood.
It may be easier to just pick up a few cans of bug spray from the local hardware store, but it is always best to use poison that is not toxic to your own kind. Each to their own and, admittedly, bugs can get so irritating that you do feel a certain sadistic pleasure in wiping them off with ruthless bouts of spraying. Even so, if you just give one or two of the above methods a try, you could be very surprised with the results.
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