Gardening in the summertime is one of life’s little pleasures. You can escape the usual stress and strain of your day-to-day existence, working happily on creating your own touch of Eden. It’s easy to while away hours, enjoying the blooming flowers and perhaps even tending to your vegetables.
Then, it happens. You know it’s a possibility, but somehow, in the pleasure of tending to your crops, you forget. You go back indoors, back aching pleasantly, hands covered with dirt. You head for the shower, shrug off your shirt, and then you see them. Bites. Circular, red blobs where some bug has had itself a feast of your delicious blood. As soon as you see them, they begin to itch. The itch, pain and discomfort continue for days, long past the point your calm happiness from gardening has evaporated.
It’s a fact of life that being outside means that you’re going to get bitten. Try and see it as a compliment – these bugs are saying you’re tasty! Well, it’s a nice idea if you can see it like that, but it more likely just makes you murderous. The bugs, flies, wasps, mosquitoes and everything else have got to go.
- Bug Spray
[Photo courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images/pixabay.com]
These have a dual purpose. First, they can make you a less attractive feast. Secondly, you can bring about violent revenge should anything try and bite you anyway, as they are instantly poisoned.
If possible, try and find sprays that do not include a chemical compound known as DEET. This has been shown to cause a whole host of problems. If you would rather keep things as natural as possible, diluted neem oil is a good idea.
- Stay Above Ground Level
If you tend to sit down to weed a particularly stubborn flower bed, you’re putting yourself at a level most insects can find you. At least give them a fight. Stay upright as much as possible, or use something to kneel on when working at ground height. A large tarpaulin can put a protective layer between you and the things that fancy a nibble.
- Go All In
[Photo courtesy of Jim Gathany/wikimedia.org]
If you’re covered in bug spray and crouching on a tarpaulin, but still ending the day covers in bites, it’s time to think bigger. Companies that specialise in mosquito control can help eradicate the idea garden of the issue, through a variety of methods. If you’ve young children, this is particularly worth thinking about. You don’t want to discourage them from going outside.
- An Old Wives Tale
It’s not possible to say if this really works or why, but there’s plenty of evidence on a colloquial level that people swear by it. If you fill a plastic bag with water and hang it around where you’re working, bugs may well leave you alone. There’re theories that the water disrupts the many-eyed insects and confuses them. Or perhaps it does nothing- no one knows for sure. It is, however, an easy and inexpensive idea if you’re at the point where you’re trying anything.
Employing the above can help reduce the discomfort creepy crawlies may be unleashing on you. After all, your garden should be a place of pleasure, not pain!