What’s Bugging You?

Written by Steve of Out On The Prairie.

Some years more than others those tiny little pests can be worse. I mean to where they are so thick, you wonder if they could be harvested for a biofuel. I have seen areas where the mosquitoes were so big, we named a few as pets.  Ticks, spiders, gnats, what ever is bugging you, they like me best. Now for someone who spends most of their freetime outdoors, you would think I would change my interests.

Now to start with how to stay away from them, there is more than just staying inside. There are some major sprays to use, and I am sure I have tried them all. I got one that was 100% DEET, thinking nothing else may work. I went out fishing with it on and all of a sudden I noticed that all my minnows were all dead. In fact they had suffered a rather painful death because the water was all red. Well that stopped me, I didn’t have any fish or bait. I wondered what it was doing to me also. Up north every time I stopped and held still, whatever skin was exposed was covered by these bloodletters. I stopped and got some cigars at the suggestion of a friend with me, even though I didn’t smoke. I swirled the smoke all around and on top of having the worst taste in my mouth and smell all over, they were still there. Later when my friend was finishing off the cigars I realized he just liked to smoke and hoped I would too.

With ticks they have warm-blooded radar, and it hones in on trails used by warm-blooded creatures. In one prairie if I stayed on the trails, I would be covered. One time doing a sketch out there I picked twenty from just one shoe. When I finish my specimen drawing I sometimes add an insect to it, and you guessed it, I used a tick I had mounted on my sketch book with a piece of clear tape. So an easy method is stay off the trails during peak season, I went back out and sat in a deep grass and suffered less.

Now I still haven’t said no spray. As a matter of fact I like to use a spray before I go in. Wear long pants, staying covered helps with both bugs and sun. Always have a hat. I use a topical spray on exposed skin, but also have another to use on my clothing, around my ankles, cuffs, areas they can still get in.  We use light colored clothing that makes it easier to see anything. I carry a roll of duct tape to dab them off when coming out if you picked up any. With wet springs like we have now I see an influx of little black gnats.  Not only does it offer fresh breath, but a mouthwash that starts with ”L” mists on nice for a short period to keep these guys away, they seem immune to other sprays.

So remember if it bites, they are usually after me first. It must be because I am so sweet, but as I write this I feel where I got hit yesterday. Some people are more prone, but everyone needs to take some precaution to really have a good time outdoors. It is early in the year so put some help in your car to be ready. I am headed out to see what birds I can find, and if I feel like it try a little fishing. I will be out all day, and yes they are after me, but I will be prepared.

This article was written by Steve of Out On The Prairie. If you'd like to read more of his work, follow this link to find Steve's blog. Leave him a nice comment to let him know you were there.
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  1. NO...bugs like me best!:) When skeeters are abundant I have to stop eating my favorite fruit...bananas. Skeeters seem to really like people who eat bananas. I keep Avon's Skin-so-Soft handy. It is less toxic and does work. Rubbing dryer sheets on your skin and pinning to your clothes also works. I do use the "deet" spays for ticks when needed.

    Great article Steve!


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