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Summer Guide 2012

Buggy summer

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Many news outlets have reported that this summer would be one of San Antonio's buggiest. This is a myth. While various insects are crawling (and flying) around the Alamo City, it remains no more buggy than past summers according to entomologist Molly Keck, pest management specialist at Texas AgriLife Extension in Bexar County. Until cooler weather returns to South Texas, Katydids, Red-eyed Devils, bees, and the usual gang of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes will take over with their usual massive offense. Here are a few steps you can take to defend against the invasion.

Homeopathic remedies: While your neighbor might swear by homeopathic remedie, Keck suggests good old-fashioned citronella candles, but warns that they are only effective when burned nearby.
Technological remedies: New iPhone apps like Mosquito Repellent, Sonic Repeller, and Bug Spray claim to repel mosquitoes by emitting a supersonic sound so high as to repel mosquitoes. What they fail to mention is that most of your kitchen appliances emit the same frequency, which is anything but supersonic. In short, the apps are about as effective as carrying your toaster around, which might be a new fashion statement, but doesn't repel anything. Keck notes that she has yet to see any conclusive evidence that the new belt clip-on repellers work at all, either.

Sprays: Most store-bought sprays like OFF! and Repel are effective, according to Keck. Make sure to spray in nooks and crannies, like behind your knees and inside your socks. Some households have installed pipes that spray the backyard with repellent once a day like sprinklers but are another waste of money. "They rarely kill any adults and leak toxins into the air," Keck said.

Pets: The most important way to prevent fleas and ticks is by treating your pets directly. Sprays and house treatments will be useless without ridding your pets of pests. "If you're encouraging wildlife, you're encouraging fleas," Keck says. So while it might be picturesque when a deer wanders in your backyard, fleas and ticks just wandered in too.

The Summer Issue 2012
  • Daytrippin': Luling Luling, known to many in San Antonio as that spot off I-10 where Buc-ee's makes an appearance, defies most conventions of a tourist town. There's plenty of free parking... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': The Upper Guadalupe Tubing, Lone Star beer, bad tattoos, sunburns, chicken fried steak at the Gristmill … it's a central Texas tradition. But it's good to remember the Guadalupe doesn't... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': The Comal River After securing your tube from one of the nearby vendors (we chose Rockin' R River Rides, 1405 Gruene, just outside historic New Braunfels), it takes about 20 minutes... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': Corpus Christi Summer has arrived, and no my friends, she is not friendly. Her seasonal fever can suck you dry as you drag your way through desolate parking lots and... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg I live in a German town, so the idea of vacationing to a place like Fredericksburg, which sells itself with Biergartens and chocolate shops, doesn't really appeal to the... | 6/20/2012
  • Daytrippin': The Snake Farm Thanks to the magical combination of severe insomnia and Animal Planet programming, I finally discovered the greatness of Steve Irwin. For years, I dismissed him as the parody... | 6/20/2012
  • Buggy summer Many news outlets have reported that this summer would be one of San Antonio's buggiest. This is a myth. While various insects are crawling (and flying) around the... | 6/20/2012
  • Pickup basketball After spending ungodly hours watching the NBA this playoff season, it's time to get off your ass, lace up your sneakers, and get on the court. But don't settle for... | 6/20/2012
  • How to survive the summer: bunkering lessons for locals Why we haven't figured out yet that even with air-conditioned rooms and air-conditioned cars it's just plain whacked to get up with the sun and stay awake through the heat of... | 6/20/2012
  • Plastic Beach Photography and fashion styling by Bryan Rindfuss. Visual Art by Erin Curtis | 6/20/2012
  • Bus or bust Yes, "Everything's bigger in Texas." I get it. The sheer size of this state is daunting to a bleary-eyed driver. We may long for cheap, fast commuter rail linking Texas... | 6/20/2012
  • Summer camp roundup CCamp Disney gives children ages 5-18 the chance to perform songs from some of Disney's popular musicals including Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid... | 6/20/2012
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