Summertime is the perfect time to have a backyard campout with your kids. Backyard camping is one of the great activities that make for lifelong cherished memories as a family, and the last thing you want to ruin those memories are bugs.
You might think bugs in the backyard aren’t that big of a deal. After all, the kids play outside all the time. Why would a backyard campout be any different? The thing is, there are different pests that come out at night than during the day, which means you need to be prepared to deal with those pets. And since you’ll be staying outside for a longer amount of time than you usually would at night, these bugs will have plenty of opportunities to bite you and your family.
Whether it’s professional pest control or simple at-home methods, you need to take extra steps to protect yourself and your family from bugs in your backyard.
Bugs to Watch Out For In Your Backyard
While there are plenty of bugs to watch out for in your backyard, there are three, in particular, you’ll really need to watch out for during a backyard campout. Let’s look at which bugs those are and why it’s so important to protect yourself against them with both DIY and professional pest control.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that mosquitoes are on this list. Mosquitoes are much more active at night than they are during the day making them a nuisance for backyard camping. These spindly little bugs buzz around you, then try to bite you and drink your blood. The bites are typically pretty minor but can itch for several days. Infection can occur if the bites are scratched too much, so avoiding scratching the bites altogether is the best way to prevent infection.
The real concern with mosquitoes isn’t the bite itself. It’s the risk of the mosquitoes being disease carriers. Mosquitos are carriers of the West Nile virus and the Zika virus. Both of these viruses can become quite serious, so you should do your best to make sure your family is safe from mosquito bites.
Another bug that can be a big problem for you and your family during a backyard campout is ticks. Ticks are tiny black bugs that find the warmest parts of your body and then burrow into the skin to feed. The bites can be painful, and the ticks themselves are quite difficult to remove from your body. Sometimes when you’re trying to remove a tick, the head of the tick may stay burrowed in the skin even if the body comes out.
Like mosquitoes, the bite of the tick itself isn’t the biggest problem. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, another potentially serious disease that would be better for your family to avoid altogether.
You may also run into fleas while you are camping in your backyard. Though fleas are typically more attracted to animals because they can burrow in their fur and feed while staying hidden and warm, they can also feed on humans. For humans, a flea bite is unpleasant (causing itching and scratching), but in your pet, the bite can be much more serious.
It may sound fun to have your dog join you in your backyard campout. But it may be better for her to stay inside so she doesn’t attract fleas because if she does pick up fleas it will take more than a bath to get rid of them. You’ll also have to call your vet to get medicine for your furry friend.
How to Protect Yourself From Backyard Bugs
Use Insect Repellant
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your family from bugs in your backyard is to use insect repellent. Insect repellant is definitely a temporary solution, so make sure to apply it regularly to keep you and your family safe. You should use insect repellent no matter how sure you are that the bugs won’t bite you. Even hiring professional pest control isn’t enough to protect you from bugs without using insect repellent.
When you use insect repellent, you need to make sure you are covering your body with it as much as possible. It won’t do much good to only put it on your arms if your ankles are also easily reached by bugs. Anywhere bugs can access is a place that you should apply insect repellent.
Wear Clothes That Cover You Well
In addition to using insect repellent, you should also wear clothing that covers you very well. This includes long-sleeved shirts or jackets, long pants, socks that cover your ankles, and close-toed shoes. Wearing clothes that cover you this well should minimize the access bugs have to your skin, and therefore minimize the risk of bites.
Check for Hitchhiking Pests
In the morning after your campout, it’s important to check your body carefully. Ideally, you will do this before returning to the house so that any hitchhiking pests are left outside. It’s most important to check yourself for ticks and fleas because they are much more likely to be carried inside your house on your body than mosquitoes.
When checking your body for these bugs, you want to particularly check the warmest parts of your body. Check your scalp, your underarms, and your groin area. Those are some of the most common places to find ticks, though they can bite other places as well.
Schedule Professional Pest Control Beforehand
As much fun as it is to have a spontaneous backyard campout, you may want to delay your backyard campout until after scheduling professional pest control. While pest control treatments done in your backyard will not 100% remove the pests, they can significantly decrease the population of bugs in your backyard. The sooner you schedule professional pest control, the less you will have to worry about your family receiving a bite from harmful pests.