Avoid mosquitoes gnats and ticks naturally
Mosquitoes, gnats and ticks – they’re annoying, they’re everywhere, and they’re potentially dangerous. Even though Twin Oaks seeks to bring you the joy of camping without a lot of the inconveniences, there’s only so much that can be done for those buzzing, biting, nuisances – mosquitoes, gnats and ticks. Here are a few natural things to try that might keep them away:
- Citronella candles tend to keep them from coming near your campsite in the first place, plus they provide a nice atmosphere. Actual citronella plants do an excellent job, as well.
- Tea Tree and eucalyptus oils, applied to the skin or clothing, can prevent mosquitos from seeking you out as a target. Just be careful, Tea Tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats.
- Keep plants near your entrance that bugs do not like; lemon thyme, lemon grass, lemon balm, catnip, peppermint, basil, rosemary and citronella grass or citrosum. Then make sure you rub these plants every time you walk by so as to transfer the oils to your skin. That way you too will smell fresh and herbal – a nice scent for humans but one that mosquitoes and gnats do not like.
- Keep cool. This is good advice anyway: you don’t want to get heatstroke! On top of that, though, there is some evidence that mosquitoes sense people by their ambient heat. If you’re hot, you’re a bigger target. Wear loose-fitting clothing, and take a break when you start to feel overheated.
Of course, no matter what you do about mosquitoes gnats and ticks, you’re probably going to get at least one mosquito bite if you’re outdoors in middle Georgia summer. The key is keeping that number down to prevent the possibility of disease. Once you do get bitten, though, here’s a trick I recently discovered:
- Run some hot water over the back of a spoon until the spoon is good and hot (not so hot to burn you, though!) Place the back of that spoon against your mosquito bite until the spoon is cool. The heat will break down the compounds in the mosquito’s saliva that cause the bite to itch. It works like a charm!
In middle Georgia we have to talk about the gnats in particular…
Middle Georgia suffers an influx of gnats in the heat of summer. Beverly Sparks, an entomologist with the University of Georgia Extension Service in Athens, said gnats are worse in August and September because they breed in moist, sandy soils that have been disturbed by agricultural equipment. Gnats don’t reproduce in the soils of the Piedmont Plateau. That’s why there is a so-called “gnat line,” separating the Piedmont Plateau from the Coastal Plain, running from Augusta to Macon to Columbus.
While many people use products containing DEET, which is a surefire chemical way to keep insects at bay, many of us prefer to avoid mosquitoes gnats and ticks naturally. Skin So Soft, an Avon skin lotion, is a popular remedy, along with various brands of insect repellents. We have also had good results with a natural product made locally called “NO NATZ” and “NO MOSQUITOZ“. We try to keep a supply in our store, however you can order directly from the ‘nonatz’ website by clicking here. These products were developed by a Georgia family as cosmetic alternatives to chemical bug sprays. No Natz and No Mosquitoz have become the best selling all natural personal bug spray available across the United States. The products are effective against gnats, no-see-ums, mosquitoes, and all varieties of biting flies. They are made from the finest essential oils, really work and smell good! Just shake and spray when the gnats or other bugs are biting and you can start enjoying the outdoors again.
And now a word about ticks…
Make no mistake. Ticks can be very dangerous. They carry a vast payload of debilitating diseases like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These are things you do not want. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to keep the little pests from ruining your summer.
For one, there is a large variety of repellent sprays available that might do you some good. Do some research on them to make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction. On top of that, wear light-colored clothing and cover your head, especially if you have long hair. Ticks love to get into your hair, so keep it tightly tied or braided.
Most importantly, check yourself regularly! As soon as you get finished with your outdoor activity, take a shower and check yourself for ticks, especially in hard-to-see places. If you find one, remove it carefully with fine-pointed tweezers. DON’T squeeze the tick. Grasp it as close to your skin as you can. Disinfect the site and your tweezers with alcohol.
If you bring a dog or other pet, check it too!
And that’s really all it takes! Twin Oaks wants you to enjoy the best summer you possibly can. We provide indoor, clean, bright restrooms where you can take a shower and make your tick checks. We like to avoid mosquitoes, gnats and ticks naturally and if you forgot to bring any repellents or first aid supplies, be sure to check our little store – we carry a few options. Protect yourself from bug bites of all kinds. It doesn’t take much effort to stay safe in the summer!