It’s officially summertime for us in the Northern Hemisphere—and it’s starting to feel like living in a convection oven over here at the USANA headquarters. While the warm weather and sunshine provides many opportunities for outdoor fun time, it also provides many opportunities for run-ins with some nasty, mean, annoying bugs.
With so much of the news dominated by stories about diseases spread by mosquitos and people getting attacked by swarms of angry, maniacal bees, I figured a quick blog about bug safety tips would be perfect for those looking to spend some fun in the sun this summer.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m just gonna come out and say it. I hate mosquitos. They are flying parasites that contribute nothing to society.
The thought of a mosquito landing on me and sucking out my blood makes my skin crawl. And the worst part about mosquitos is that they can transfer a multitude of diseases like malaria, yellow fever, west Nile virus, dengue fever, and the hot new virus of the season—the Zika virus.
If you’re like me and would like to avoid the itchy, irritating bites from mosquitos, there are a few ways to keep the bites to a minimum.
The most effective way to ward off those nasty, flying blood demons is to apply insect repellant thoroughly to your skin before going outside (especially at nighttime).
The most common form of insect repellant found in stores contains the chemical DEET. However, DEET is considered by some to be too harsh of a chemical to put on your skin and to be spraying around into the environment—so luckily there are some good, natural insect repellants you can use instead. Lemon-eucalyptus oil, lavender, citronella, and rose geranium oil are all found to be effective in homemade DEET substitutes. There are also a few great brands of DEET-free repellant that you can find online and in stores.
Cure the Itch
It’s nearly impossible to totally avoid being bitten by a mosquito—so if you find yourself itching and itching and itching until you can’t take it anymore—there are some home remedies that might offer some much needed relief.
Antihistamine and anti-itch creams are always a helpful tool in fighting the itch of mosquito bites—but what if you don’t have any readily available?
Some home remedies include:
- Holding a refrigerated, damp green teabag on the bite to soothe the itch and help with inflammation.
- Making an oatmeal or baking soda paste using equal amounts of oatmeal or baking soda and water then holding down the paste with a washcloth on the bite for ten minutes.
- Adding a little drop of honey onto the bite can help with itching and inflammation.
- Placing aloe vera on the bite can add some relief, just like how it does with a sunburn.
- Rubbing some finely chopped basil leaves on the bite is also thought to stop the itching sensation.
The Bee’s Knees
Bees (not wasps—wasps are evil) are an absolutely vital part of our ecosystem and existence, but they honestly terrify me. I am luckily not allergic to bees but I am allergic to pain and that is exactly what their sting delivers. So naturally, I try to avoid the company of anything that flies and stings.
- Skip the flowery and sweet smelling perfumes and colognes when you go out.
- Wear earth tones or muted colors instead of brightly-colored clothing which attracts bees.
- Keep an eye out for hives in trees, shrubs, and beneath roofs and decks.
- Be mindful of any wasp around your meat or soda. Wasps are carnivores and love sugar, so they will naturally flock to your meal for a nice treat.
If you happen to find yourself stalked by a bee or a wasp, it is best to slowly and calmly move away from it. Swatting and making a commotion will most likely upset the bee and make it feel threatened. They are naturally curious creatures that just want to take a look at your pretty face and won’t attack unless provoked.
In the unfortunate situation of getting stung by a bee, use the edge of a credit card or any flat object to push out the stinger. You want to remove the stinger as soon as possible to stop any more venom from being pumped into your body.
I hope my tips can provide you with some new knowledge and will help everyone have a fun and safe summer this year.
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