Fall is a beautiful time of year to go hiking – colorful foliage is on display, there’s wildlife to see, and the cooler air is perfect for enjoying Mother Nature. This fun, healthy, and affordable outdoor activity is great for families, groups of friends, or even solo trekking. However, it often takes place in areas where encounters with pests are high. Our crash course on pest “watch-outs” will help everyone stay safe on the trail, including your four-legged friends.
General protection tips
- Select mosquito and tick repellents that are EPA-approved. (Check out the EPA’s handy guide to choosing the right repellent for you.)
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, tucking pants into socks to keep ticks and other insects from getting into your pant legs.
- Wear light-colored clothes so you can easily see insects on your clothes.
- Wear a hat to keep insects off of your head and a head net in areas where insect activity is dense.
- Inspect personal belongings for any hitchhiking pests upon returning from your hike.
- After your hike, take a shower and check your body head-to-toe for pests.
- Don’t forget to thoroughly check your dogs for ticks.
Mosquito and tick prevention tips
- Hike on open, sunny trails rather than in shady, dense forests.
- Walk in the center of the trails and avoid walking through tall grass and brush.
- Check for ticks, especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and on the hairline and scalp.
Preventing spider bites
- Never reach in areas you can’t see, such as under rocks, into holes, and around branches.
- Shake out clothes, gloves, hats, socks, and boots before putting them on.
- Look before you sit down or lean against a tree to rest.
- Cabins and lean-tos are favorite hideouts for spiders. Sweep the area thoroughly before setting up camp, especially under and around bed frames.
Stay safe from stinging insects
- Many stinging insects, like bees and wasps, become more aggressive in the fall.
- Avoid wearing perfume and scented lotions, deodorants, and hair products.
- Use sealed drink containers. Stinging pests can crawl into can openings and sting unsuspecting drinkers.
- Keep your food and garbage sealed in plastic bags.
- Be alert for nests/hives in hollow trees, hanging from branches, under logs, and in the ground. If you hear a loud buzzing noise, avoid the area.
- If you or someone in your party is allergic to insect bites and stings, take the proper medication or an Epipen with you on the trail, and seek proper medical attention immediately if someone is stung or bitten.
Enjoy a safe hike
In addition to heeding some of our pest tip advice, be sure to inform family and friends about your trip. Let someone know when you expect to return, especially if you’re traveling alone or in a small group. Take a cell phone with you, and research the area where you will be hiking to gain knowledge about possible natural dangers. With a little preparation and our 20 must-know pest tips, you can safely enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer while on your hike this season.
Hiking trails aren’t the only places pests are present. Ticks, mosquitoes, and stinging pests like your backyard, too. Relax pest-free all season long with our year-round pest control plan, contact Western today.