RV "How To" Posts

How To Share The Outdoors With Our Insect Friends

Looking Out For Bugs


Caterpillar

That’s ridiculous!!!!. We don’t don’t share. This is war!!! I’m just kidding. Did you ever feel like that, though? Did you ever just want to sit outside, maybe with a cup of coffee, water, or a snack and just read or relax. The minute you start to relax, bam!!! You’re attacked!!! Mosquitos come out of the woodwork, inchworms are dropping on your head, flys are buzzing around messing with you. What do you do? Head back inside the RV? Stay outside and get eaten alive? Sell the RV and give up on the outdoor lifestyle?

If you think about it, even if you lived in brick and sticks you would face the same problem. You have this nice big backyard, a state of the art BBQ, a pool, and a great big deck or patio. Guess what? You are going to face the same exact problem. So what do you do at your house? I have the perfect solution for both the RV and your backyard!!!  After a day of relaxation outside and getting bit on every part of your body, come inside and take a nice bath in calamine lotion…lol. I’m kidding.

I thought You Were Serious For A Minute

There are lots of ways to enjoy insect-free or insect reduced relaxation time outside. It’s a matter of perseverance and a little creativity. Of course, there will always be some area that is a little more challenging than others. If you are camped next to a swampy area in a humid environment, you will face more challenges than someone in a windier dryer environment. Let’s take a look at some of your options. Then you decide what’s best for you. You might even want to combine a few options.

Off Bug Spray

Bug Sprays

Some of the first things that come to mind are insect sprays. They have been around a long time and some of them even work. There is also a lot of conversation out there whether bug spray is harmful to use or not. One of the most effective but controversial chemicals in bug spray is DEET. There has been a lot of testing of this chemical and just about every study states that when used as directed, DEET is safe. If you’re interested in testing results, click on this link to read about the EPA studies. Everyone you talk to will have their own opinions of the results. You could spend hours searching google and reading results. For me, the bottom line is to think about the reason you are using it in the first place.

Mosquito

For me, the bottom line is to think about the reason you are using it in the first place. That would be not to get bit. Each insect can carry its own set of diseases, none of which I would like to get. Mosquitos are one of the most annoying insects to deal with while outdoors. Did you also realize they are also deadly? According to AMCA, over 1 million people die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. I am not going to get into all the different types of mosquitos and diseases there are. If you are interested in reading about thatclick on this link and it will take you to the AMCA website. We have recently started short day hikes. We went into a trail one time without any bug spray. What we came out looking like was not pretty. We will never go in without some kind of bug repellant again.

We have recently started short day hikes. We went into a trail one time without any bug spray. What we came out looking like was not pretty. We will never go in without some kind of bug repellant again. Bug spray/ repellant is useful for a lot of different kinds of insects, not just mosquitoes. Although there is a lot of different ideas on how bug sprays work, they do not kill insects. They are designed to keep them away from you. We spray our clothing and skin. When we are done with the outside activity’s we change clothes and wash the areas of skin we sprayed. We are not chemists and this is just one thing we do. Especially when hiking.  Again, we would rather do this to reduce our chances of contracting a bug-borne disease.

Bug Zapper

Bug Zappers

A bug zapper, also known as an “electrical discharge insect control system” is a type of insect control device that kills bugs that are attracted to light. It draws them in with some type of light source, then zaps them with a high voltage shock!!! The problem with the bug zapper is that it is only effective on bugs that are attracted to light. Mosquitos are not attracted to light… Just saying…lol.

Some studies are also starting to say that once a bug is zapped, the “zapped” insect mist containing insect parts can remain airborne for approx 6′ from the device. This means effectively anyone within that radius can breathe bug particles. Definitely, don’t place a bug zapper near anywhere you may be cooking. If it’s far enough away from the area you and your friends will be sitting, it is a good way to clear an area of certain types of insects.

Citronella Candles

These are extremely popular with the outdoor crowd. The fact of the matter is most of the research that is out there states Citronella is only slightly effective at best. If you are using the topical type (lotion or oil), the results are short-lived and you will need to re-apply often. Some people might even have allergic reactions to this type. If you are using a candle type and there is any kind of breeze outside, they are now completely useless. Many people use those Tiki torches to surround their hang out areas in and again if there is no breeze, you have limited protection. If you have any kind of respiratory disease like asthma, the smells may cause some discomfort or even difficulty breathing. There is some interesting reading on Citronella oil on the Web MD site. If you are interested in learning more about it, click on this link to be taken to Web MD’s official website.

Natural Alternatives

If I have totally grossed you out with the bug zapper guts, and turned you off to Citronella’s ineffectiveness, and scared you off with bug spray, then what’s left? Well, there are 2 more options left to discuss. The first is natural or homemade remedies. People have been coming up with their own concoctions for years. Some might even work. Ultimately there are too many different ideas with no scientific studies (that I know of anyway) to get into listing them. What I will say, is if they don’t work, at least some of them smell nice.

I Guess We’re Done Here

Not so fast. There is one more option we have not looked at. As with every one of these other options, it does have a drawback which I will discuss in a minute. What it does not have, is any type of chemicals so you will not have to worry about skin rashes or long-term effects. It also is not something you burn. So if you have any kind of respiratory illness you’re ok. It also will not spread any infected bug guts…Ewww, that’s just gross…lol. And lastly, you will not have to become a mad scientist mixing all kinds of juices, spices, and fruits to make your own concoction.

Don’t Keep Me in Suspense!!!

I will not keep you in suspense anymore. It’s a screen house!!! It’s as easy as setting up on your campsite. Once set up, you step inside and now your almost 100% free of any bugs. I say almost 100% because nothing is 100% foolproof. Every now and then, one of those little critters can get through any defense you use. A screen house is a perfect solution to those who are opposed to or can’t use chemicals or have ruled out all the other above options.

Now as I said earlier, there is one drawback to the screen house option. It is not portable. It’s not like you are going to drag a screen house with you on a hike and move it along the trails with you…lol. Other than that, it’s the perfect solution to getting outside and enjoying that cup of coffee, snack, book, or even a meal without being attacked or eaten alive by insects.

Screen houses come in all shapes and sizes. They also vary in quality so do your research. We used to walk around the different campsites we were staying in and look to see what everyone else was using. If we liked something, we would go right up to the people on the campsite and ask them if we could talk to them about their particular screen house. We never had anyone tell us to get lost, they were always willing to talk. Campers are just awesome people!!!!

Anyway, after we completed much research, we decided on which one we wanted. We purchased the Northern Breeze by Eureka. Click on this link to see our review. We purchased it in June of 2016 and have been using it ever since. This thing has gone through some rough weather and has not shown any signs of wear. When we are not using it to sit in and relax or eat, we use it as a shed to keep our gear dry.

So there you have it. All the different ways to co-exist with our insect friends…lol. If you are interested in the screen house that we chose, I have done a review on it. Just click on this link and it will take you to the review.

If you have any questions or comments on this post, feel free to comment below or send me an email at dennis@travelingadventuresonwheels.com.




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