Backyard Tips for a Safe and Bug-Free Summer

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the long days and warm weather, but too much sun can be dangerous. Combine a sunburn with some itchy bug bites, and you might end up spending the next few days indoors recovering. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can follow to avoid the negative affects of steamy, sunny weather and the onslaught of summer time bugs.

 

Follow the 30 for 30 Rule

Sunscreens come with a range of SPF or Sun Protection Factor ratings. The different numbers you see on bottles indicate the amount of UVB rays that will be blocked by the product. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and is the absolute lowest rating you want to apply in order to experience true protection.

 

Another important sunscreen fact to remember is that it takes about 30 minutes for sunscreen to soak into the skin and go to work. That means you will need to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside, not right when you get to the beach.

 

If you use at least 30 SPF sunblock and apply it 30 minutes before you head outside, you can prevent sunburns and other sun damage that can quickly spoil a trip, even to your own backyard.

 

Use Aloe Vera to Treat Bug Bites

There are a lot of anti-itch products on the market that can be used to treat bug bites, but if you are looking for something natural consider the old standby: aloe vera. Aloe vera benefits include skin relief that is safe, effective and natural. The other good news is that aloe vera is a hardy plant that is easy to care for and is a natural air purifier, so you can grow your own plant at home and enjoy easy access to a natural bug bite balm.

 

Invest in an Outdoor Umbrella

Summer evenings are perfect for moving dinner outside, but the heat and sun can make things uncomfortable. Investing in an outdoor umbrella can help keep temperatures down and guests cool so that you can spend more time socializing and entertaining on your outdoor patio.

 

Opt for Yellow Outdoor Lights

A backyard barbecue with friends can turn into an evening spent sitting around the firepit. Once the sun goes down, the bugs will be out in full force, but you can help keep them at bay by installing yellow outdoor lights instead of incandescent options. The yellow light doesn’t attract as many bugs, which can make for a more comfortable evening.

 

Stay Hydrated

While an umbrella and sunscreen can protect you from the sun, they won’t provide much relief from the heat and humidity. Your body is working hard to keep you cool and humid air makes it difficult for sweat to evaporate, which only raises your body temperature. If you aren’t replacing lost fluids, your body will begin to suffer. Don’t wait until you are experiencing symptoms of dehydration to start drinking water. Drink water throughout the day and be sure to increase your fluid intake if you will be spending time outdoors.

 

A little awareness and planning can go a long way to ensuring a safe summer. A few additions to your backyard and patio, including yellow lights and a shade umbrella can help everyone enjoy a comfortable dinner on the outdoor patio or an evening around the firepit. Protect against the sun with the right sunscreen and plenty of water so that you can take full advantage of the beautiful, warm weather. Fall will be here before you know it, so get out and enjoy the outdoors. 

 

 

Contributed to Your Home blog by Joshlin Grayson

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