Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Bane of Every Gardener's Existance!

Bugs! They eat our plants and they eat us. It just isn't fair!
We can plant other plants that discourage insects from the garden. We can even pluck them right off and dump them in soapy water. There are plenty of solutions, even if they aren't always very successful. But even though we don't like the look of nibbled plants...unless something actually nibbles on US we're not too affected!
What DO we do to help ourselves and more important, our children from being vulnerable to insects in the garden? The children need to be outside. Heck, we need them to be outside! But by the same token, we don't want them to be bitten. What do we do to protect our children as well as ourselves? Here are some ideas that should help!
  • During particularly buggy seasons be sure to keep the children's skin covered by clothing. If you have to, tuck pants into socks and try to get long sleeves snug around the wrist.
  • Avoid wearing dark, and especially bright colors!
  • Avoid powders and ointments that might have an odor since the fragrances also attract insects.
  • ALWAYS use an insect repellent. Insect repellents that are safe to use on children include those with less than 10% Deet, or others with citronella or soybean oil.
  • Apply insect repellents to clothing instead of to skin. This way, there's no chance for it to be absorbed.
  • Wash off insect repellents as soon as you get back inside.
  • Follow the instructions, including age restrictions on any insect repellent you are considering using.
  • Avoid areas where insects nest.
  • Do daily tick checks of your child's body when he has a possible exposure, especially when camping or hiking, so as to prevent tick borne diseases, such as Lyme disease.
  • Remember that insect repellents do not protect against most stinging insects, including wasps, bees and fire ants.
  • Use window and door screens to prevent insects from getting inside your house.
  • Be sure to empty any standing water that might breed mosquitoes. You don't need to HELP them multiply!!!


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