With summer in full swing throughout the day most people are thinking of sunshine, swimming and backyard barbecues. But this year there is also something else you should be thinking about; bugs. Due to the warm winter and the wet early spring most of the country bugs such as mosquitoes and ticks will be prevalent this year and you need to keep your family safe.
So, what can you do to keep your family, especially your kids? Here are a few tips we’ve pulled together from various sources to help you stay safe this summer.
Wear long sleeves and pants when in wooded areas
Many of you may say that summer is a time for T-shirts and short sleeves but this is one of the easiest ways to protect yourselves from bites, especially from ticks. If you’re camping or just spending the day hiking this is something to keep in mind. It’s also one of the easiest and most natural ways to prevent bites.
Stay in the center of the path
No beautiful photographs in tall grass fields this summer. According to the CDC, staying in the middle of a path when hiking or in a field will help to prevent tick bites. Since they tend to live on grasses, being aware of your surroundings can help.
Use products with Permethrin to protect outdoor clothing or camping gear
If you plan to go camping or it you are a family that likes to hike together. These products can be sprayed on your sleeping bags, tents and boots. Full disclosure, I’m not really a camping sort of girl but this might be something I end up using on gardening shoes.
Check your clothing for ticks
You can carry ticks into your house on your clothing. While they aren’t like fleas you can still risk other people in your home getting bitten if you snuggle a kid after being outside. If you’re playing outside just take a look when you come in. If you’re actively doing something outside, like hiking or gardening, you may want to strip down and throw everything in the wash. Confession: I totally did this today after gardening. I also made the kids do the same.
Wash clothing in hot water
Any clothing that was worn outside should be washed in hot water and the CDC recommends during on high heat for at least 10 minutes. The dyer kills everything. See my other bug problem from this past fall.
Check your body and their’s
Ticks like warm places to cozy up and sink in. When outside they live in warm, moist places so it makes sense that they look for these same places on you. The CDC recommends checking the following places:
- In and around ears
- Inside the belly button
- In and around the hairline. (So HARD with long hair!)
- Between the legs
- Around the waist area
Other sites have also suggested that you look between their toes, specifically if they are barefoot a lot outside or wearing sandals.
Shower/bathe ASAP after being outdoors
We don’t bathe our kids everyday. But after going to park or forest you need to. This is also a good time to double check their hair. I’m planning to use the lice comb to check.