Bugs. These almost alien-like creatures can range from the good, the bad, and the OMG what is THAT!? While not all of them are as dangerous as they might look, you'll still want to prevent bug bites and stings while on vacation in the great outdoors.
Whether invited or not, these creepy crawlers are a typical part of any camping experience. So, we've provided some tips on how to deal with any bites or stings from these buggy intruders.
There are approximately 91,000 identified species of insects in the United States, and it can sometimes feel like they descended upon your campsite all at once. Here are the most common bugs you are likely to encounter while camping, along with some you really do not want to come across while exploring the great outdoors.
While obviously not a comprehensive list of offensive insects, here are the top bothersome bugs of outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Try these easy suggestions on how to keep bugs away; if those don't work, there are tips on what to do when stung or bit.
Swarms of these tiny flying insects can quickly ruin an outdoor vacation. These nasty gnats are hard to spot but leave a painful reminder they were there. Itchier than mosquito bites, these bites can turn into welts and be bothersome for as long as two weeks.
The easiest way to deter these pesky biters is to recognize what attracts them in the first place.
Scratching can lead to infection so try one of these tips to stop the itch:
Did you know there are 200 species of mosquitoes in the United States, and 3,000 worldwide? The female does the biting, blood-sucking, and transmitting of diseases including the West Nile virus. Eggs hatch in standing water found in areas like old tires, flowerpots, kid pools, puddles, and ponds.
Take these precautions to prevent not only mosquitoes but many pesky pests.
There are almost as many mosquito bite treatments as there are mosquitoes. Here are our favorite tips:
When you get bit by one of these, or the larger horse fly, you know it. Unlike mosquitoes or ticks that suck up blood, female deer flies have scissor-like jaws that slice through the skin. The fly's saliva is a blood thinner, making it easier to feed longer.
Deer flies are persistent when hungry and have been known to chase their prey. Keep deer fly away with these simple suggestions:
They don't jump or fly, but instead climb long grasses and weeds where they wait for a warm-blooded creature to stroll past for them to hitch a ride (and a snack). In fact, they're so small, you might not even notice one on you until it becomes engorged and easier to see. Deer ticks are responsible for transmitting Lyme disease, among other illnesses.
Unlike other biting insects, ticks will burrow into a host and not let go. Never removed a tick? Below is a simple explanation of how to remove a tick safely and effectively.
Don't swat these bugs with benefits. Looks can be deceiving on a couple of them, but some bugs are good to have around a campground as they help eliminate bad bugs and pollinate plants.
Like tiny helicopters, dragonflies use their four wings to fly in any direction, including sideways and hovering. Dragonflies are efficient midair hunters, catching and eating hundreds of mosquitoes daily.
These round and fuzzy stripped flyers are the G.O.A.T of pollinators. Their wings can beat 130 or more times per second, allowing them to buzz between flowers faster while dispersing more pollen.
These mini-watermelons lookalikes feed on pests that damage gardens and crops. One ladybug can consume 5,000 insects during its two-year-long lifecycle.
Also known as lightning bugs, these flying beacons send signals back and forth to each other to find a mate. The chemicals released, luciferin and luciferase, are currently being used in research on cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and heart disease.
Don't let their pious positioning fool you. Praying Mantis are excellent hunters, using 3-D vision and camouflage to stalk mosquitoes and flies.
Some creepy crawly bugs are best left alone. A bite or sting by one of these can cause some serious health issues and should be looked at right away by a health professional.
Related to spiders, these venomous arachnids primarily live in desert-like conditions but have been found in mountain areas, grasslands, and forests. Mostly nocturnal, these creatures are hard to see but easy to recognize with their pincers and upturned tails. Stay away from the tail, where the venomous stinger is. Most scorpion stings will not kill a full-grown human, but they will hurt and can cause allergic reactions.
The saying you are never more than three feet from a spider may be an exaggeration, but there are certain eight-legged creatures that you will want to stay far, far away from. Found across the U.S., the bites from some of the most poisonous spiders include the brown recluse, black widows and hobo spiders won't kill you but can make a person extremely sick.
Not to be confused with ants in your pants, these tiny stinging stowaways from South America make a meal out of anything they come across. When one ant goes into attack mode, the others in the colony quickly follow. Distributing a nest is not recommended.
There are numerous ways to keep some of the more bothersome bugs from being a pain while camping. Here are some of our favorite ways the bugs away:
Don't let biting bugs or insects spoil a vacation. Share these tips and suggestions so others can enjoy an outdoor adventure free of bug bites.