If you have ever been to the beach, you already know about the insistent flying insects that bite and sting you relentlessly. They will find the one spot that you missed spraying with insect repellant and get you. They will wait until you sit down and bite you through the fabric on the back of the chair. They know that when you get out of the water all of the repellant has washed off your legs. They will make you bleed, they will make you itch, they will make you hurt and they will make you miserable. They will fly in your eyes, nose and ears. They will get in your tent and car and they will hitch a ride home with you.
You know the mosquitoes are bad when they name festivals after them. If you haven't heard of The Great Texas Mosquito Festival, do a quick search for it and you will see what I'm talking about. The mosquitoes on the Texas coast seem to be bigger than the ones in my backyard. There are also a whole lot more of them. Do you want to know how to avoid them? Plain and simple, you can't. Lucky for you, most of the time the wind is blowing in from the gulf and keeping the bugs in dunes.....until the sun goes down.
I woke up one morning to this. Needless to say, I took my time getting out of the Jeep
It's actually 98.25% DEET. I don't leave home without it and sometimes I bring two of them just in case. I used to spray down my kids with this stuff but now they refuse to wear it. Mostly because the last time I sprayed their legs with it, I accidentally got some on their flip-flops and it seemed to melt them. Yep, it melted them. I don't know....maybe some sort of chemical reaction. That's an ode to how powerful this insect repellant is. I spray the back of my chair with it so they can't bite me through it. At night it keeps away the mosquitoes and during the day it stops the biting flies, including horseflies. Apply it every time you get out of the water and you will never get bit. Disclaimer - Use at your own risk. Don't hold me responsible for any horrible side effects that this product may cause. For goodness sakes, it melts flip-flops
Off on a tangent - Many years ago when I first joined the Air Force, I was stationed in northern Maine. The bugs were so bad that they handed out military issued insect repellant by the box. These little olive drab squeeze containers carried a white lotion like substance that kept bugs far, far away. Without a doubt this stuff was the absolute best insect repellant that I have ever used. After I used it for about a year, the Air Force issued a recall on the product stating that there was enough evidence to prove that with continued use it would substantially increase chances of causing cancer. Since I was convinced that they were wrong and I was invincible, I horded as much as I could and used it for another 8 years. That was back in the day when I used to let firecrackers explode in my hand and eat asbestos (not at the same time).
Sometimes it's not the mosquitoes that are the problem. When the wind dies down, all of the bugs leave the safety of the dunes and head out to your campsite. They are attracted to light of your headlamp, flashlights, car lights and anything else. These bugs and moths are the ones that fly into your mouth, ears and face and make it impossible to do anything. I used to take bug nets with me but the bug nets are awful when its 90 degrees with no wind. I threw the bug nets away when I learned that if I lit a lantern and placed it 20 feet away from campsite, the bugs would go there. With my headlamp turned on only when absolutely needed, I could fish in peace all night long! Of course, 20 feet away thousands of kamikaze bugs were dive bombing my lantern.
Look at all those dead bugs!!
Oh Thermacell, where have you been my entire life? If you don't have one, make sure you get before your next overnight beach trip. Trial and error proved that these devices work best on the beach to keep bugs out of your sleeping area. Since the wind is almost always blowing on the beach, carrying around one of these or using it outside is not really effective. However, if you turn one on and put it where you sleep, the bugs will leave that area. I light mine about an hour before I plan to sleep and put it on my dashboard. I roll up the windows and leave the back door of my Jeep open and all of the bugs will leave. Make sure that you leave something open so the bugs can escape and I promise that they will leave. Disclaimer - Use at your own risk. The Thermacell use open flames to heat a chemical coated pad. Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and don't burn your tent down.
In the past few years, I have had two people that I personally know have a significant problem with bees on the beach. Normally, there aren't that many bees and the few that are there will leave you alone. I'm not talking about a few bees, I am talking about a swarm. In the first encounter, they could see the swarm coming and they ran. The bees chased and stung them as they ran for safety. It should be noted that you should never run into the water to escape bees because they will wait for you to come out of the water and continue stinging you. In the second encounter, the swarm came in and the queen bee found shelter on the fisherman's vehicle. Of course, the thousands of bees following the queen bee also landed there. They waited a few hours and when it became apparent that the bees weren't going anywhere, they called in a professional. A bee removal company had to come out to the beach and capture the queen and her army.
Donnie's vehicle covered in bees
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