Summer offers weather suitable for a variety of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, insects can make camping trips, cookouts, and long hikes much less enjoyable. Not everyone wants to coat themselves in chemical-based insect repellants; you may prefer a more natural approach instead. One method that may help is to choose a wardrobe less likely to draw insect attention.
Avoid Stinging Insects
Bees have a vital purpose in nature, but the fear of stings and bee allergies causes many people to want to keep the buzzing bugs away. White clothing works well to avoid their attention. The bees’ disinterest in white is why beekeepers wear all-white gear.
Bright colors like orange, yellow, and even bright blue and purple attract bees. Additionally, dark colors and deeper shades of red, a color that looks dark to bees, can provoke aggression in wasps and bees, as it can make people look similar to their natural predators. Symmetrical patterns also seem to appeal to bees, so solid colors may be best if bees and such are bugs you hope to avoid.
Protect Against Ticks
Ticks are more visible on white and very light-colored clothing, so some people prefer to wear these colors when outside. While it is true that the dark bugs show up easily on light colors so people can find them easier, light colors also seem to attract the insects. According to one study, ticks more often end up on people who wear white and light colors.
A good option, if the temperatures allow it, is to wear dark colors on the outside and long white socks underneath. Pants tucked into boots prevent ticks from reaching the skin easily, and the white socks will alert the individual to any that did make it through. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to stay comfortable in long pants, long socks, and boots in the summer.
An alternative safety method is to wear dark colors to avoid as many ticks as possible. Once home, before any clothes go into the dirty laundry pile, place them in the dryer for several minutes. The dry heat will kill the pests. This method prevents ticks’ escape from the clothes basket, from where they can attach to pets or people in the home.
Stop Mosquito Bites
Hikers who worry about itchy bites more than ticks or bees will want to choose light colors because they help to keep the mosquitos away. Loose-fitting clothes also aid in curbing the number of welts people have at the end of the day. The long proboscis of the mosquito enables them to pierce through clothing, even denim, and tight clothes make the skin easy for them to reach.
Loose clothing allows perspiration to evaporate more easily. The evaporation helps to keep people comfortable, and it may help them to avoid mosquitos too. The scent of perspiration attracts mosquitoes, so any reduction in sweat may prevent the formation of a buzzing cloud around your head.
Striped clothing may offer some benefit too. Studies show that stripes deter many biting flies. In fact, stripes are a natural safety feature for zebras. The short fur of the animal makes them more vulnerable to insect bites than many other longer-furred species. The risk of discomfort and disease from bug bites may be one reason zebras evolved to have such prominent stripes.
A final tip is to always use scented detergents and fabric softeners cautiously. The strong perfumes in the products can easily attract a variety of insects. At Over Under, we offer comfortable natural fabrics in solids, patterns, and colors to help you look and feel great while you deter insect visits. Check out our inventory to see the selection for yourself.