Camping can be a fun and inexpensive outdoor vacation for the entire family. It provides fresh air, stunning views and a chance for the family to bond. There are some downsides to vacations in the great outdoors though; pests can be a nuisance and even a danger so come prepared and know what to avoid.
Wasps are a species that includes yellow jackets and bees and they're common in warm climates. They nest in trees and under overhangs in the late spring and early summer. Sometimes they’ll nest in the ground which is particularly hard to see and therefore more of a danger. They’re attracted to sugar, cooking meat and other human product odors such as perfume and hairspray. While they’re not aggressive, if a nest is upset it can make for a painful situation.
First off, keep an eye out for nests which look like honeycomb cells. There will usually be a few flying around the outside. A small, newly developed nest can be knocked down and the wasps will fly away without harm to you. However, if the nest is large and has many layers then stay clear and don’t bother it since doing so will lead to getting stung. Pack a can of wasp spray if you are particularly afraid or allergic of these pests.
Another common pest that can ruin your camping experience is the mosquito. Unlike wasps that sting as a defense mechanism, mosquitoes sting you to feed off your blood. They’re more annoying than they are harmful and only in remote areas can you contract an illness or disease.
There are many products available to repel mosquitoes and you should bring supplies with you since usually nothing will be available at the campsite. Sprays and lotions containing deet is the most effective for repelling these pests. There are also less effective all natural sprays and lotions available. Citronella candles also help to deflect them but should be used along with topical products to ensure the least amount of contact.
Ticks are common in wooded areas and are best avoided by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts especially if you’ll be brushing against foliage. These are more annoying than anything else but there is a chance of contracting Lyme disease.
Stay away from dark, dank, secluded areas since dangerous spiders prefer these as dwellings. Most people will not intentionally come into contact with any spider but be especially careful if you see a Black Widow, Brown Recluse or Violin Spider.
Taking a vacation in the great outdoors is certainly enjoyable but be aware of the pests that can dampen your trip.