At best, mosquitoes are a major pain on an otherwise perfect family hiking trip. At worst, a whining swarm of buzzy fliers can spoil the entire trek. Armed with itty-bitty sensors that can detect sweat, heat, and even your breath, the winged beats are like stealthy hunters preying on unprepared hikers without a moment’s notice.
If you’re planning a hiking trip with your little ones, the last thing you want to do is hit the trail without preparing to encounter the bloodthirsty vampires. While you might be perfectly fine swatting the buzzing pests from your face, your tiny tot might not be as fast and can quickly become an easy snack for the hungry critters.
And as parents, we know firsthand what bug bites mean for kids: our poor little ones simply can’t endure the itching, and scratching is just too tempting.
Not sure how to prepare for a day of fun in the great outdoors? Not to worry: we’ll give you a few pointers on how to keep those pesky biting bugs right where they need to be — anywhere but near you!
Read on to discover everything you need to know to plan an itch-free family hiking trip.
Know Your Enemy: Basic Mosquito Quick Facts
Before we dive into all the wonderful tips and tricks to keep the little bloodsucking vampires at bay, let’s first go over a few mosquito quick facts.
For starters, you might think of the icky pests as a single entity; however, there are actually more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide. But don’t panic. Not all mosquitoes are created equal. In other words, there’s no need to fear them all.
You see, of all the skeeters that inhabit the planet, it’s only the females we need to worry about. Why? Because male mosquitoes don’t suck blood.
In fact, they don’t even have the mouthpart to pierce flesh and are actually pretty harmless. Instead of feasting on blood, males enjoy filling their bellies with sweet sugary plant nectar.
As for the ladies, on the other hand, these pesky bugs are trying to locate sources of blood. They have long needle-like mouthparts (called stylets) that can easily pierce the skin, allowing them to suck as much blood as they need until they get their fill.
OK — How Do Mosquitoes Find Humans?
Female skeeters often appear to have an unreal supernatural ability to hunt us down. Even in the dark of night or inclement weather, the buzzy fliers can track down prey with little to no trouble. So, how do they do it?
Well, we hate to say it, but mosquitoes are incredible hunters.
The mastermind females can detect their next victim in a few ways:
- Movement - a mosquito’s eyes are super sensitive to movement and can quickly detect people moving around. This explains why the biting bugs often attack hikers on a trail.
- Body Heat - believe it or not, in addition to sensing movement, mosquitoes can also detect body heat. This is another reason why they tend to swarm hikers. When you hike, sweating is almost inevitable. This heat can put a bullseye on your back almost instantly.
Carbon Dioxide - female skeeters are attracted to the carbon dioxide in our breath and can sniff it out over 30 feet away. That being said, if you’re hiking a difficult trail, you would naturally produce more carbon dioxide as a result of heavy breathing.
This makes you a little more attractive to those hungry insects. Sure, you could always try to hold your breath, but this isn’t the most practical solution, to be entirely honest.
Planning an Itch-Free Hiking Trip With the Family
Now that you understand how the devious little villains track down their prey, let’s dive into a few ways to keep the pesky biting skeeters at bay, shall we?
Here are the top tips to trick the winged pests:
Tip #1: Dress For Success!
The more skin you expose, the more vulnerable you’ll be to itchy mosquito bites. If you plan on taking the kids hiking during skeeter season, it’s imperative that you dress everyone for success in long sleeves and long pants.
It’s also important to wear proper footwear as well as a hat to keep the suckers away from your head. Keep your pants tucked into long socks (this will also help ward off ticks as well).
If you’re planning to hike during the dog days of the summer, bundling up can make a trek on the trail sweaty and miserable. Stick to early morning hikes when the weather is crisp and cool.
Tip #2: Bring Quality Insect Repellant
To keep mosquitoes at a healthy distance, it’s essential to pack insect repellant. These products work by emitting a scent that repulses the winged beasts, causing them to quickly turn around to find a more appetizing victim.
While there are many insect repellants on the market, we recommend using BuzzPatch. This is the healthy and fun way to send mosquitoes on their way.
Our revolutionary non-woven fabric patches are infused with a powerful combination of essential oils that are perfectly safe for kids. And unlike traditional topical sprays, which contain icky chemicals and harsh ingredients, BuzzPatch is not only super easy to apply but environment-friendly.
Tip #3: Pack MagicPatch
If a hungry mosquito lands on your tiny tot, leaving nothing behind but an itchy welt, dig a MagicPatch out of your backpack. Our innovative grid-relief technology gently helps the lymphatic system drain the itch-inducing saliva injected by the mosquito.
All you have to do is simply peel off a relief patch, stick it right on top of the painful bite, and your precious angel should feel relief within 30 to 60 seconds.
The relentless itch of a bug bite is enough to make anyone crazy, but for kids, it can be much worse, leading to tears and sometimes even an allergic reaction resulting in a whole lot of pain.
Don’t let a pesky mosquito ruin the family hiking trip, and be sure to pack MagicPatch to stop the itch almost instantly. Walk into the woods in confidence, protected with the power of natural protection.
Say YES To BuzzPatch And NO To Mosquitoes
Hiking with the family is an excellent way to disconnect from technology and enjoy the great outdoors. Just be sure to plan accordingly so you can stay clear of hungry insects to avoid itchy bites. Dress your tiny tots in long sleeves and use BuzzPatch to ward off mosquitoes — naturally.
Kid-friendly and parent-approved, our all-natural mosquito repellent patches are infused with a combination of essential oils like citronella to confuse mosquitoes and hide kids from their senses. DEET-free and non-toxic, BuzzPatch is super easy to use, fun, and convenient.
Gone are the days of spraying sticky insect repellants on our little ones to keep them safe from itchy bug bites. With BuzzPatch from The Natural Patch Co., you can quickly apply a mess-free plant-based sticker and rest easy, knowing that your kiddo can go hiking itch-free.
And the best part? Not only are our incredible patches super easy to use, but they smell great, too!
Is DEET Bad for You (and Your Kids)? | Health Cleveland Clinic.
How Mosquitoes Use Human Sweat To Find And Bite Us: Shots - Health News | NPR