With summer finally upon us in the Near North’s cottage country, it is only a matter of time before the bugs descend on us too! Right now, rural life is perfect. The sun is shining, it’s hot outside and there are no bugs yet. It is a result of the spring snow we had – last week! Unfortunately, it doesn’t take too much time for the mosquito population to multiply and come back in full force!
Right now, I am preparing myself for the inevitable battle I fight every year with mosquitos, flies and moths. There are certain tools that are necessary to have in order to ease the frustration of pesky bugs at our country homes. I have included a list of what I think are the most useful actions to lower your exposure to bugs:
- Good Screens on your windows and sliding doors. I know it seems obvious but a lot of cottages have screens full of holes the perfect size for a mosquito to fly through. This is an easy fix – I know, I’ve done it. The hardware store will sell a kit with everything you need to fix the screens. It should only take you a few hours to replace all the screens in the cottage.
- Fly swatters placed strategically around the house. I have found that whenever I need a swatter to get a moth, fly or mosquito, it’s never around. I fixed the problem by having a fly swatters in most rooms and a designated spot on the wall for them when they are not being used.
- Deet Bug Repellant. This is for the really bad bug exposure days (hiking, cutting the lawn, chopping down trees). It works the best, but it also melts nail polish. I try to only use this repellant when I am in a pinch.
- Vitamin B Patches. These patches are put on the skin and your body absorbs the vitamin B. It works as a natural bug repellant. I was skeptical about its ability but I use them all summer and find them very effective. You can buy them in the fishing/camping section of a large department store.
- Scent free toiletries. In the summer, it is best to avoid any scented toiletry. Bugs are attracted to sweet smells too!
- Afterbite. This remedy is tried and true – it takes the itch right out of those bug bites. You can get some for about $5 at almost any general store, hardware store, grocery store or gas station in cottage country.
Another great tip to get rid of bugs at the cottage: pennies in a large Ziploc bag filled with water. It will act as a deterrent to flies because the sparkle of the pennies in the water blinds them and they will not come near the hanging bag. If you and your family are having a picnic, hang a couple bags on trees where you are sitting and you can enjoy your meal without flies!
Bugs – they are the only real downside to country life in the summer. They have the ability to ruin an otherwise perfect outdoor experience. After living in Near North for several years, I have learned to adapt (or at least that is what I tell myself), to the insects. In actuality, I am just becoming more effective at fighting those bugs!