How To Prevent Bug Bites And Stings

By Ashley Henshaw. May 7th 2016

Bug bites and stings can really put a damper on things, so taking steps to prevent them can go a long way towards ensuring that you have a fun and safe summer. The following tips offer advice on keeping the bugs away and making sure you’re not an easy target for their stings and bites.

What To Wear

Many people make themselves vulnerable or even attractive to bugs by what they put on their bodies, most without even realizing it. In fact, you can greatly reduce your chances of being stung or bitten just by wearing the right clothing and beauty products. The following are some great tips about what to wear if you want to keep the bugs at bay:

  • Obviously, covering up your skin more provides fewer chances for being bitten or stung by a bug. Therefore, it’s best to wear long pants and long-sleeved tops when bugs will be around.
  • Try tucking your pant cuffs into your socks. Ankles are a common site of bug bites and stings, so taking this precaution can help prevent them.
  • Wear a full-brimmed hat or a hooded top to help keep bugs away from your neck and head.
  • Avoid wearing brightly colored or flowery prints as these tend to attract insects.

Another important factor in preventing bug bites and stings is making sure your scent doesn’t attract them. The easiest way to do this is to monitor which beauty products you use. Don’t wear perfume or cologne when you intend to spend time outdoors around bugs. In addition, avoid using scented lotions, soaps or hair products in order to prevent attracting insects.

Products To Use

Clothing and avoiding scented lotions and soaps is just one part of the equation when it comes to preventing bug bites and stings. In addition, it’s helpful to invest in some bug repellants and other products which will help to deter bugs. The following are some of the best products for avoiding insect bites and stings:

  • Insect repellant: This can be purchased at many grocery stores and drug stores. There are many types available, including sprays, lotions and even wipes. Sprays are useful since they can be applied to clothing as well as the skin. Use these products sparingly on infants and small children, and make sure it doesn’t get on their hands where they may rub it in their eyes or mouth.
  • Protective netting: This product can be used in any outdoor setting, but it can be especially useful for those who plan to sleep outdoors. In some areas with dangerous or numerous insects, netting is used around beds indoors to prevent bug bites and stings.
  • Candles: There are many candles made with citronella that can significantly reduce the number of insects in the area when burned.
  • Epinephrine kit: Those who have allergies to certain insects should carry an epinephrine kit which can help relieve dangerous allergic reactions. One handy product is the Epi-pen which can be quickly applied and is easy to carry around.

Techniques For The Outdoors

There are several actions you can take when you plan to be outdoors if you want to reduce the chances of getting bug bites or stings. Many of these are simple steps which are easy to apply. The following are some of the best practices for preventing bites and stings from insects when you go outside:

  • Avoid areas with standing water where mosquitoes and other types of insects are likely to be found.
  • When dining outdoors, keep food carefully wrapped up or contained until it’s time to eat. Then, wrap up any scraps, crumbs and wrappers and throw them away in a container indoors or away from where you are sitting.
  • Don’t leave sugary drinks like sodas out when spending time outdoors. Consider using closable containers like bottled soda or thermoses for these drinks if you want them.
  • Avoid going outdoors at dawn or at dusk when mosquitoes are the most active.
  • Have any nests or hives carefully removed. Furthermore, avoid jerky or rapid movements near hives or nests to prevent the insects inside from becoming more active.
  • Be careful when visiting gardens or orchards where flowers are in bloom. There will likely be numerous insects in the area.

Bottom Line

For most people, utilizing these tips is a great way to reduce their exposure to bugs and the number of bites and stings they get. If you do get a bite or sting from an insect, treat it carefully at home or see a doctor if the bite or sting seems unusual in any way. Keep in mind that it’s especially important to be vigilant of small children who are in the vicinity of bugs that could bite or sting. If they or anyone else you’re with displays any signs of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.


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