We are now enjoying the beauty of Spring and, with summer just around the corner, some welcome warmer weather that has brought a kaleidoscope of colour as plants and trees flower and blossom. Yellow daffodils, brilliant bluebells and vibrant lilac crocuses are in full bloom bringing with them (we hope) blue skies and perhaps a little less to complain about.
With the change in the winds and the awakening of the natural world comes the awakening of insects. Bees have emerged from a long winter spent relentlessly beating their wings to keep their queen warm and sheltered as her eggs develop, whilst butterflies and dragon flies are visible in the air. The first pollen brought by spring is crucial to bees and other emerging insects that have spent most of the winter sheltering from the cold without food. While we welcome warm-heartedly the return of some of our favourite insects there is one whose arrival we do not relish. That is of course includes our nemesis: the mosquito.
Having spent the winter months in a dormant state of diapause – a dominant feature of mosquito life that serves as a mechanism to survive unfavourable seasons – mosquitoes are emerging from their slumber to begin their peevish search for blood. Some things to remember now our least favourite blood sucker is back on the scene… Sadly, unlike with Dracula, garlic is not an effective repellent. Rosemary however, can be a great DIY repellent, so chuck some on your first barbecue to keep biting bugs away. If you don’t happen to have an herb garden to hand however, incognito incense sticks are an even surer bet to keep biting bugs away outside.
However, we anticipate that this summer could see more whining than ever. Conditions in the world are becoming more and more favourable to the mosquito. Research has shown that rising global temperatures is causing a surge in insect life cycles, particularly in pests like mosquitoes, flies and termites. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been reported at altitudes of 1700m in Mexico and 2200m in the Colombian Andes, when once they had been limited by temperature to 1000m and pest experts expect mosquito habitats to continue to expand, with more species reported in unrecorded regions than ever before. This means that now, more than ever it is important to stay protected against biting insects, both at home and abroad.
Hotter summers means another thing, more sun. This is of course something to get excited about, time to dust off the shorts and put away the staple anoraks of the British winter. Yet we would like to take the time to remind you of the dangers of over exposure to the sun’s UV rays. With shorter wavelengths than visible light UV rays cannot be seen but they nonetheless pose us a serious health risk. Strongest between 10-4pm, UV light can penetrate windows and even water. As such it is vital to remember to apply adequate sun protection. Sun creams come in all shapes and sizes but an easy guide to their protective efficacy is their SPF, sun protection factor. SPF 15 sun cream filters out 93% of UVB rays and SPF 30 97%.
By and large the principals that protect you from sunburn are the same as those to ward off biting insects. First and foremost, appropriate clothing should be worn that provides cover for as much of the skin as possible. Next is to regularly apply sunscreen to exposed areas of skin, ensuring to reapply after a swim in the ocean or a trek through the forest. When applying insect repellent in conjunction with sun cream it is crucial to apply the sun cream first, wait for it to dry and only then to apply repellent. However, we realise how important convenience is on holiday and that is why we are delighted to announce the arrival of our newest product, incognito suncream insect repellent. This unique, brand new product is a 3 in 1 suncream, insect repellent and moisturiser that uses the same repellent active ingredient, PMD, as our award winning spray. Made only using natural and organic ingredients, incognito suncream is the greenest and most effective way to ensure round the clock protection whilst on holiday to make sure that it’s only fun in the sun this summer.