Hen Outdoors

3 minute read

Protect against insect-borne diseases and avoid getting bit just as you're about to take the perfect shot. 


When planning for any trip outdoors, we like to think about all the fun we will have. We don’t like thinking about bugs, but you have probably discovered, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time if you’re well-prepared. Wearing bug repellent can do more than just reduce the number of mosquito bites you get. Bug repellent can help protect against Zika virus, West Nile virus, Lyme disease and a bite from a Lone Star Tick may even cause an allergy to red meat. When you’re choosing, you know what risks and benefits come with what you’re using.

DEET is not a four-letter word. Well, technically it is, but it’s not a bad one. In a post-DDT world, we’re more aware of how chemicals can impact our health. Using DEET, though, can help protect you and your family against some tenacious diseases and viruses. Picaridin active ingredient that may be found in bug repellent.

Use permethrin-treated clothing. While using permethrin does not completely prevent you from needing other bug protection like DEET, it does help to greatly reduce the number of bug bites you’ll get in the woods. It can be especially helpful when trying to avoid ticks. In many cases, store-bought clothing that has already been treated with permethrin may be the most effective. However, sometimes buying pre-treated clothing can be cost-restrictive, and the clothing choices may not be what you need. There are permethrin sprays, and if you spray it on clothes yourself, be sure to follow the instructions.

If you go “all natural,” re-apply often. Despite the benefits of using bug repellents like DEET and permethrin, you may decide to use lemon-eucalyptus sprays, or something similar. If this is the case, it’s important to respray you and/or your family often. Synthesized plant-based sprays last a little longer, but the typical spray containing lemongrass, citronella, or soybean oil only lasts about an hour, and it can be difficult to remember to stop and make sure you’re covered.

Choose ultra-fine mesh when using bug nets. This tip is not just for protecting against viruses. If you have ever had to brave thick clouds of sandflies (also known as no-see-ums, biting midges, biting gnats, or whatever you call them where you live), you know that it’s critical to have nets that don’t let even the smallest bugs through. Also, when buying a bug head net, get something you can secure so bugs can’t get under your net by crawling in at the edges.

For all of the above, do your research and compare products to decide which are most effective and budget-friendly.

At the end of the day though, be sure what you’re buying works. It will not only keep you more comfortable when fishing, hunting, or scouting your next trip, but planning for bugs may also keep you healthier.

Hen Outdoors

Hen Outdoors

Hen Outdoors Founder, Kari Ann, is an avid outdoors woman who's mission is to champion for women outdoors and inspire other women to do the same.

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