Three Things To Buy To Beat Biting Bugs

Biting bugs probably keep more people indoors than anything other than video games.

Nothing will ruin a day outside faster than an abundance of biting insects. Mosquitoes, noseeums, biting flies, ticks, and chiggers keep more people indoors than anything other than video games. Here are three steps for making triply sure you and your family don’t get bitten.

Protect your skin

Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin
Lotion-style insect repellents last longer than repellents you apply as a spray.Sawyer Products

One way to keep bugs off exposed skin is to cover it all up. But that gets hot, and if you wear a headnet you end up looking like a beekeeper. A better option is to a topical spray or lotion. The most effective types can contain nasty chemicals that eat year gear and are probably not great for your health, so look for repellents that use natural formulas.

Protect your clothes

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent
It takes about three ounces of permethrin spray to fully treat one item of clothing, so one 18-ounce can will treat about six different items.Sawyer Products

Another critical step, especially if you live where ticks are common, is to treat your clothing with a spray-on repellent like Permethrin. These treatments last through multiple washings and will keep ticks from latching onto your clothes (and then working their way to your skin). Permethrin is also effective at repelling mosquitoes, making it great to spray on your tent.

Protect your campsite

Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller
Thermacell devices are widely used by hunters and anglers who spend long hours outside during the times of day when bugs are at their worst.Thermacell

Candles and torches work fairly well at keeping bugs away from backyards and patios, but they're bulky and messy, too. A simpler and more effective option is to use device like a Thermacell. These are powered by butane cartridges and burn chemical-treated mats to release bug repellent chemicals into the air. They're like citronella candles, but more effective, don't emit smoke, and won't catch your tent on fire.