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Keeping bugs away

Garden during the middle of the day to help reduce bug bites. Harmful insects that bite, such as mosquitoes or ticks, are more active from dusk until dawn, so try to garden throughout the day so you aren’t outside during peak insect times. While there still may be insects, like bees or spiders, during the day, they’re less likely to bite or sting you unless they’re provoked.

  • There still may be ticks or mosquitoes around during the day, but they’re less likely to be active.

Spray insect repellent with DEET to protect from stings or bug bites. DEET is a bug repellent that also deters ticks, so spray it on exposed skin or your clothing to keep the bugs away. Read the repellent’s label carefully since it may tell you when to reapply or provide any special instructions you need to follow. To apply the bug repellent in hard to reach areas, like your face or the back of your neck, spray it into your hands and rub it into your skin.

Flick bugs away rather than killing them if they land on you. If you slap or kill bugs that land on you, they’re more likely to bite you or sting. If you notice a bug on your skin, then use your thumb and forefinger to gently flick it away. Try to flick it from the side so you don’t accidentally get bitten or stung.

Check yourself for ticks when you’re finished gardening. Stand in a well-lit room and check over your body for small bugs the size of a poppy seed or larger. Look in warm, dark areas, such as between your toes, the backs of your knees, your armpits, and your groin. If you find a tick attached to you, carefully pick it off with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as you can and pull it straight outward.

  • Wear light colors while you’re gardening since it will be easier to see if you have any ticks on you.
  • Have a partner help you check for ticks if you have trouble searching on your back or neck.

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