Springtime brings out anglers, and bugs

PRATT - As spring gets in full swing, biting insects of all kinds emerge in full force. For the angler, this means that while waiting for a bite, one just might get bitten before making a catch. A particularly wet spring might add fuel to this annoying fire. However, with a little precaution, outdoor outings can be bug-free, leaving the angler to concentrate on bites he wants. Following are just a few tips for a bugless fishing trip:

  • cover skin as completely as possible by wearing long sleeves, shoes, and tucking pant legs into socks;
  • wear khaki or neutral colors because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, especially blue;
  • bugs and bees are attracted to residue left by heavily-scented soaps, lotion, and shampoo, so these should be avoided when an outdoor excursion is anticipated;
  • use insect repellent and follow label instructions. Don't apply to the hands of children who tend to put their fingers in their mouths. Remove repellent by bathing. Carry spare repellent.
  • avoid bug hangouts like stagnant pools of water, puddles, birdbaths, and groups of large animals;
  • many Kansas biting bugs are active at dawn and dusk, so be especially prepared if fishing at these times; and
  • after returning indoors, check for bites and ticks. If a tick is found, carefully remove it by grasping the head with tweezers and gently pulling straight out. Clean the tick bite with hydrogen peroxide. If the area gets red and swollen, or flu symptoms occur within 30 days - which could be indicators of Lyme Disease - contact a physician.