Longer days… brighter evenings… sunshine on our backs… daffodils, primroses...that’s right, spring has well and truly sprung.
For the hardcore golf fans out there, spring signals even more beautiful happenings than crocuses in bloom… the start of several major highlights in the sport's calendar. April sees the Masters taking place in Augusta's glorious sub tropical climate, June sees the U.S open hosted in Wisconsin, while the Open Championship is this year hosted at Royal Birkdale in Scotland in July. Bringing up the rear in August is the PGA Championship in North Carolina, USA.
Whatever the location, the climate offers a host of conditions ideal for a variety of bugs and biters on the fairways. Whether you’re lucky enough to be seeing one of these tournaments in action first-hand or heading onto the greens closer to home, spend less time swatting (mosquitoes, midges and other pesky biters) and more time swinging a golf club, with this handy guide to bite prevention for golfers.
A travel friendly Mosi-guard will protect you on the golf course
Many golfers consider a few insect bites during a round of golf par for the course. However, while some insect bites prove to be just a minor irritation, others can have far more serious, debilitating and long lasting effects on our health. From identifying where those biting beasties like to hang out, to steps you can take to protect yourself, you’ll find all you need to know about insect repellent and golfing right here.
Insect repellent and Club Tropicana…
Augusta enjoys a sub-tropical climate. These hot, humid conditions, combined with areas of standing water such as those prevalent throughout the Augusta National Golf Club course create the perfect habitat and breeding ground for biters like mosquitoes.
The same can be said for closer to home in the summer months. Scotland in particular has suffered with a surge in biting midges during the warmer months of recent years.
On a golf course, it isn’t always possible to avoid areas of standing water where these biting insects can thrive. That’s why it’s even more important to use a good insect repellent that will provide long lasting mosquito protection.
Top insect repellent tip
Always check that the mosquito repellent you use provides protection against a selection of biting insects, especially those typically found in the area you are visiting. Mosi-guard Natural® is proven to provide protection of up to eight hours against a wide range of biting insects including ticks, leeches, midges and mosquitoes.
Insect repellent and biting beasties
Certain species of mosquito - the female Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever) and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) varieties – can spread Malaria, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya Virus, West Nile Virus and Yellow Fever. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are native to the tropics however they can easily adapt to temperate climates. They have been found in the Americas and across Europe.
The Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever) mosquito is the carrier of several tropical diseases. Commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, they can be present in more temperate areas in summer months, including the southern and eastern US.
The Culex species of mosquito (also known as the common house mosquito) ranges from the tropics to cool temperate regions. They are the primary vectors of West Nile Virus (WNV) and are persistent and painful biters, who will readily enter a dwelling in search of a blood meal. In the United States alone, over 41,540 cases of West Nile Virus have been reported since it first arrived in the states in 1999, with over 1,747 deaths.
A review of 14 studies showed naturally derived Citriodiol® (the active ingredient used in Mosi-guard Natural®) consistently provided complete protection for 5 - 7.8 hours against Ae. aegypti & Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, and up to 8 hours against various Culex mosquitoes. This closely matches higher concentrations of DEET and outperforms low concentrations of DEET.
Top insect repellent tip
Both Aedes species of mosquito are aggressive day biters unlike other mosquitoes, such as the Culex, which tend to be active at dawn and/or dusk. Given you may spend a long time out on the course, opt for a long lasting repellent with proven efficacy against all of these biters.
The tiny tick and insect repellent
When you’re desperately searching for your golf ball in the rough, be aware there might be a tiny blood sucking insect waiting there for its next host (meal). Although tiny (around the size of a match head) a bite from an infected tick can really pack a nasty punch. An infected tick can transmit Lyme Disease (Borreliosis), a harmful infection which can have serious, ongoing effects on our health.
In the UK, around 3,000 people every year contract Lyme Disease from tick bites. They favour long grasses, dense undergrowth and woodland, even in urban areas so always check yourself (and pets) carefully for ticks after being outdoors, especially warmer parts of your body, i.e. behind the knees.
Remove any ticks carefully, as soon as possible with a tick remover to ensure the head is not left in the skin which increases the chance of infection.
Top insect repellent tip
Yes, you guessed it! Use an effective insect repellent. A single application of Mosi-guard Natural® provides long lasting protection from ticks.
Insect repellent that protects plastics (GPS golf watch) as well as skin
DEET is a powerful synthetic chemical which can irritate skin. Used extensively in insect repellents, DEET is also known to damage plastics. So before you apply liberal lashings of a DEET-based repellent, bear in mind it might damage the plastic on that very expensive GPS golf watch.
If you want a natural formulation which is kind to skin, yet just as effective and free from DEET, look for one containing Citriodiol®. Citriodiol®, known as oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) under its US Environmental Protection Agency registration, is derived from eucalyptus citriodora essential oil. It is the active ingredient used in Mosi-guard Natural®.
It is the only natural, sustainably sourced active ingredient recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It has also been efficacy tested in over 35 laboratory and field studies around the world, against 26 different species of biting insects.
Top insect repellent tip
Mosi-guard Natural’® contains the only plant-based insect repellent active ingredient (Citriodiol®) scientifically proven to work as effectively as synthetic repellents such as DEET and better than other plant-based repellents. Citriodiol® based products can be considered an effective alternative to DEET-based products and ideal for those looking for natural protection.
What should I take on my golfing holiday (apart from insect repellent!)?
- Clothes – plan for all weathers on the course. The dress code for players on most golf courses tends to stipulate smart long trousers are a must, meaning your legs have some (but not complete) protection against biters. However, long sleeved tops are not a pre-requisite, but are a good idea to reduce the amount of skin exposed to biters. Bright colours and golf clothes often go hand-in-hand but be aware that mosquitoes are attracted to brighter hues. Off the course, try to stick to long sleeved tops and long trousers.
- Don’t forget the waterproofs and umbrella just in case!
- Soft spike golf shoes / casual shoes for off the course.
- Sunglasses, sun hat, sun screen.
- Insect repellent! Pack a travel friendly format such as a roll-on or stick. Always apply according to the on-pack instructions. A thin, even layer is best. Always apply on top of your sunscreen and reapply if you are perspiring.
- Ipad, Ipod and portable speakers.
- Pen and paper.
- First aid kit.
- If you’re using GPS don’t forget to download the courses you will be playing before you leave for your trip.