Labor Day! Last call for the public pool, for that big, extended family barbeque - and to finally deal with an enemy that has bugged all your other summer outings.
If you've been feeling hassled by horseflies and mobbed by mosquitoes, here's how to cope with those unavoidable annoyances of the outdoors. And how to tell if that little welt is turning into something more serious.
By Elise Nersesian-Solé
We already know bedbugs have become an epidemic," says Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, Ph.D., an entomologist at Cornell University. "But now we're seeing bedbugs threaten romance. You basically double your odds of an infestation when you start dating someone." Here's how to handle it:
Can I prescreen a guy for bedbugs? Yes. If you know his home address or even what area he lives in, visit the Bedbug Registry (bedbugregistry.com) for a list of infested homes and neighborhoods...
There are more than 170 million insects for every person on earth -- and sometimes it seems like they're all in your backyard. Feeling flea-bitten? You may never catch the culprit -- but most likely, it was one of these bothersome bugs.
No-see-ums, horseflies, deerflies, blackflies, and sand flies are in this gang of pests. Their bite is more painful and annoying than mosquitoes', and can rarely cause an allergic reaction.
Black and Red Fire Ants
On the rise, they're most common in the South. They can create a small blister or pustule (pus-filled swelling) that comes a day or two after the bite. This goes away in a few days. Many people who are allergic to bees or wasps are also allergic to fire ants.
Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Wasps, and Bees
Although famed and feared for their painful stings, these striped buzzers almost never attack unless their nests are disturbed or they are antagonized.
Never swing or swat at them; it can provoke an attack. Don't crush or smash one either -- this can release an alarm scent that may stimulate others to sting.
If you're being buzzed, cover your face and stand still or walk away slowly. Don't run!