Greenheads are pesky insects that bite humans without restraint 1. July is usually the worst month for greenheads. They lie dormant underground before, unearthing themselves in the hot summer months to lay eggs. Unfortunately, while they are out, they like to snack on human flesh.
Dynamics of Greenhead Bites
Before delving into ways to keep greenheads off your body, let's cover why they land on human flesh and crave your blood. The female greenheads need protein from blood in order to lay more eggs. They are the only ones that bite; the males leave us alone for the most part. When the females bite, they don't insert a stinger as mosquitoes do; they actually bite off a small chunk of flesh with their teeth to get to the blood.
Actions to Keep Greenheads Away
To keep greenheads off your body, the most effective thing to do is to stay active. Greenheads can't land on you if you are moving. In fact, a light breeze is all you need to keep the critters off you. Laying around on the deck or the dock will cause the greenheads to flock to you. When sitting around outside, some people report having success keeping the bugs away by having a fan nearby that blows wind directly onto them; the airflow is enough to keep the greenheads away.
Chemical Greenhead Repellents
To repel the pesky greenheads, you can always give chemical products a try. A commonly used one is Dak's greenhead repellent. It claims to be more effective than other repellents on the market as it made with water, not alcohol. With the water base, the 30-percent DEET is less apt to absorb into your bloodstream, and it is more likely to last on your skin, the manufacturer claims. Other products include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and the Straight Arrow Body Guard Towelette.
Homemade Greenhead Repellants
People who live in greenhead-prone areas swear by certain homemade remedies. A splash of DEET mixed with a touch of dry gin works for some people. Others say applying straight gin to exposed skin is effective. Some people have had success with garlic supplements, a mix of Listerine and water, and a mix of vodka and citronella.
More Anti-Greenhead Tips
To help keep greenheads off you, wear light-colored clothing. Additionally, get outside during the early morning hours or later in the evening instead of the middle of the day when the pesky critters hit their peak. It is essential to keep your skin dry when around greenheads. The critters love wet skin, so staying dry will reduce the number of greenheads on your body.
- "Encyclopedia of Insects"; Vincent H. Resh and Ring T. Carde; 2009
- "National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America"; Arthur V. Evans and Craig Tufts; 2007
- "Insectopedia"; Hugh Raffles; 2010
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