August is a great month to sit back and reflect on what a great summer it’s been and how much you have accomplished. Those that don’t like the hot weather are excited that the nights are getting a little cooler and that the sun isn’t as strong as it has been. Most are looking forward to sitting around the campfire with friends and family as it continues to get colder. Although this time of year is great, there is one problem. The main problem is that the bugs in Minnesota and Wisconsin are absolutely terrible! Many like to go camping which gives them a chance to unplug from all of the other distractions going on in their life at the time. It can seem almost impossible to try to keep all the bugs away from you while you’re outside. How can you enjoy yourself when you are constantly trying to keep the bugs away from you? Insects can ruin a lot of experiences for people and some don’t even wanna go outside because of how bad they can be. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep the bugs away from you so that you are able to enjoy your time outside.
First action to take is to get prepared and understand what area you’ll be in. There’s no way to completely avoid bugs unless you’re inside, but having a plan in place to protect yourself is a great first step. There are many ways to educate yourself and how to minimize your interactions with the bugs and how to not get bitten up. Here is a list of the most common bugs that are in MN/WI.
- And more
Even though there are many different types of insects that you’ll have to deal with being outdoors, the insects that people absolutely dread the most in Minnesota and Wisconsin are mosquitoes. The bite of a female mosquito can leave small to medium bumps on your body that itch extremely bad. Although there is no way to completely get rid of mosquitoes, it’s very important to know that these insects can carry diseases and leave them with you if they end up biting you.
Traditional bug sprays
Always make sure that you always have insect repellent with you. If you’re going to be camping or sitting around a fire, it would be a good idea to spray DEET around your surrounding area. The more DEET that is in the product, the more likely it is to work. Just make sure when you’re using this that there is no contact between the DEET and any parts of your body. If you want to put spray directly on your skin/clothes I would use regular mosquito/bug spray. Spray the parts of your body that you are the most likely to get bit up or the areas that are the most exposed.
Essential oils can be used for many different things. Although there are many different uses for essential oils, there are many different scents that can help keep the bugs away from you. Using essential oils is a natural alternative to bug sprays that have heavy chemicals.
Here’s some essential oils that you can use to create your own bug spray from home.
- Tea Tree
To make the best bug spray, mix 10 to 12 drops of essential oils and mix with a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and around a half a cup of water. Essential oils are safe to put directly on your skin but if you’re prone to sensitive skin, make sure that you dilute it before applying. In addition to essential oils keeping bugs away, they also smell amazing and help you not smell like bug spray for the rest of the weekend!
If you don’t like applying different sprays to your body and clothes, a bug repellent bracelet might do the trick for you. You can put these repelling bracelets on your wrist ankles or anywhere that you feel would work the trick. Instead of being in the air, they essentially create a shield around you without having the potent smell that comes from essential oils, DEET, and bug spray.
Foods bugs hate
Many think that bugs are attracted to food and that’s why they stick around. But in reality, there are many food groups that they don’t like the smell of which actually ends up repelling them. Strong citrus fruits, onion, and garlic are some smells that mosquitoes and other insects absolutely despise. These are good foods to have on hand or even to keep near you while you’re outside.
Candles, lanterns, and fires
Many don’t realize but the original idea of fires, lanterns, and candles was to produce a source of heat along with keeping the bugs away. The smoke that campfires produce can keep bugs, flies and mosquitoes away from you. There are also tiki torches, an insect/mosquito repellent that you can hang on trees which also help a lot! But always keeping a source of heat/fire around you is always a good idea to keep them away.
Clothes with coverage
Bugs are mainly active once the sun starts setting. To avoid getting bit, it is a good idea to cover up and make sure that the bugs don’t have direct access to your skin leaving you a target otherwise. There are insect repellent clothes that are made specifically for camping in areas that are known to have more bugs and mosquitoes. There was a study that found that mosquitoes are especially attracted to blue, khaki, green and any darker clothing. So it would be a good idea to wear lighter colored outfits.
Fragrant-free body care products
Unfortunately, bugs like good smelling things as much as humans do. This means if you are wearing perfume, cologne, soap, shampoo, hair products, add anything that is making you smell something other than your natural smell they love it.They are attracted to the artificial smell of things so avoiding these products on your camping trip would be a great idea!
Even though bugs can be absolute pests, there are many different steps that you can take to help you enjoy your time outside. There is nothing worse than trying to go and spend time with friends and family during this season and not being able to enjoy one another’s time because you are getting bitten. Try using these tips and tricks and tips will surely help make sure that you aren’t getting bit up!