As you already know, insects are a huge problem with any outdoor activities. Mosquitoes, horse flies and other nasty insects can be very annoying as they swarm and bite causing much itching and discomfort. I remember on trip to the Lac d’Orient, in Eastern France when they were biting us through our T-shirts. There is no one solution that works all the time but here are a few tips to help keep the bugs away.
* Stay away from wet, grassy areas.
* Avoid using fragrant or scented personal products.
* Wear light coloured long sleeve shirts and pants.
* Wear a hat and a bandana on your head and neck.
* Keep cool – insects are attracted to sweat.
* Traditional insect repellent – most contain DEET (Diethyl-m-toluamide ) as the active ingredient against insects. Use this sparingly. This chemical may be harmful and should not be used on children.
* Sunscreen/insect repellent – this may have a lower concentration of DEET.
* Avon Skin So Soft – tests don’t prove this but many insist that it works.
* Citronella candles and oil – helps keep mosquitoes out of the area.
* Head Nets – keeps insects away from your head and face.
* Garlic – it will secrete through your pours.
* Zinc or Vitamin B – also secretes through your pours.
* Citrus – deters the bugs.
* Coconut soap and coconut oil – repels mosquitoes.
Beware of Ticks!
Ticks live widely through Eastern France particularly. To avoid exposure to ticks:
* stay on the trails and avoid grassy, brushy areas.
* Wear light coloured clothing so ticks can be seen.
* Wear long sleeve shirts and tuck shirts into pants and pant legs into socks.
* Wear a hat.
* Do not wear shorts on the trails.
* Check yourself for ticks or have someone else check for you.
Finding and removing a tick early (within 36 hours) is key to the prevention of Lymes disease. If a tick is attached to your skin, grab it with tweezers as close to your skin as possible and pull it straight out. Do not use Vaseline… it will kill the tick but cause more harm.
Also do not squeeze the body of the tick, it can cause all the infected material of the tick to enter into your skin.
Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and use a disinfectant. You should have any tick bite checked by a doctor, but you should definitely have a doctor check out the bite if a rash of more than one inch wide appears at the site of the bite. This is a sign of Lymes disease.
If you have flu-like symptoms up to a month after being bitten by a tick, call your doctor, you could have ehrlichiosis, another serious, potentially fatal, tick-borne disease that can be treated with antibiotics. Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks also.
You can get a Lymes disease vaccine for your dogs, but they have not yet developed one for cats. Be sure to use a flea and tick control medication or a flea and tick collar also.