Oh The Bugs!

With spring in full swing (kinda) the insects will be coming to life and so will the risk of a few scary illnesses, namely West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. I know the wood ticks are out for sure. The mosquitos will be here soon too.

West Nile Virus is commonly transmitted from mosquitos. Surprisingly 70-80% of people who get infected don’t develop symptoms. Those that do, can have any combination of fever, headache, body ache, joint paint, vomiting diarrhea or rash. Most people can recover completely from it, however the fatigue and weakness can last for a very long time to follow. Unfortunately there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for West Nile.

Lyme Disease is contracted from ticks. Around here it used to just be deer ticks that carried it and they were few and far between. However, from what I’ve been reading that is not the case anymore. There is no cure for this though. It can be put into remission, if you will, with antibiotics but long term nerve damage is common for those infected without being treated quickly. The most obvious symptom is the bull’s-eye type rash that forms around the bite.

Our guinea hens will be arriving this spring that will help cut back the insects around the farm. I’m sure there will still be plenty of bugs to fend off, for that I make Insect Repellant.

Wildflowerfarm.orgInsect Repellent

1/2 ltr. Alcohol (I use cheep vodka)
100 g Whole Cloves
100 g Baby Oil
Combine the alcohol and cloves. Stir twice a day for 4 days. Strain the cloves. Add the oil to the alcohol. Pour in to a spray bottle and use.

Of course there will always be those brave little bugs that bite through and spray you use. For those bites I have an salve that’s super easy to make and will last all season.

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Even if you can avoid the bugs,  the annoyance of itchy bites can drives you crazy anyway. This salve is great at soothing the bites.

Insect Salve

1/2 oz.    Beeswax
3 oz.       Olive Oil
1/2 oz.    Shea Butter
15 drops  Eucalyptus Oil
Melt the wax and shea butter. Add the oils. Stir well. Pour into the desired container and let it set up.

 

 

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