How do I battle all of the bugs that attack ME as I work and ride?
I must say that I have heard rumors about flying cockroaches and giant grasshoppers and horrible cat sized mosquitos. Let’s say you live in one of these areas - like a bad sci-fi movie! How do you deal with the bugs eating YOU?
Start with clothing. Add your choice of products. Create wind if it’s not there. Modify the environment. Become that “crazy bird lady”. Call in the big guns and reinforcements.
- You will need to cover up. I like long sleeves anyway in the summer, a light color isn’t any warmer than short sleeves and you keep the bugs and sun away.
- If you want to rock a totally awesome look, make sure your jeans or khakis or breeches are tucked into your socks. Some sort of hat is also of great benefit. (A tip for hats - use a little of your bug repellent under the brim to keep critters away from your eyes and nose and hopefully teeth…)
Not sure how much of this stuff you need to eat...
- Find a product that works for you. Are you a person who loves their DEET? Or do you prefer essential oils? There are a TON of essential oil recipes out there. The only thing I can tell you is that I know very little about essential oil, and I do know that they can be potent so less is usually more. What about everyone’s favorite Skin So Soft? I have also read that eating tons of garlic helps, but at what cost to your love life??
- Wind and bugs rarely mix. If you can, ride during the breezy time of day and use fans in the barn when you are working. A portable fan on a stand is great for the barn aisle or tack room when you are cleaning a pile of dirty bridles.
- Make sure your farm and barn are not inviting the bugs. Keep rodents at bay, and make sure there is no standing water. Create more drainage, change troughs weekly, and use gambusia fish in ponds or add mosquito dunks to your pond.
- Create a nice home for insect eating critters. Birds and bats eat more bugs than you can imagine. If having them in your barn isn’t feasible, you can create bird and bat habitats on the periphery. Guinea fowl and chickens also feast on bugs.
- If you are still struggling, call your local agriculture extension agency for tips, advice, and consultation in your area. Many universities have ag extensions, as do many counties and municipalities. These guys can help you with your very specific area!
How do you keep the bugs away on YOU?