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By Jason Herbert

Since I can remember, my family and I have taken at least one summer vacation into God’s Country, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We love the UP for several reasons: the wildlife and scenery, new adventures and old favorites, and most of all, time together.

Adventuring in the UP isn’t for everyone, there is a healthy population of bears, wolves are rampant, and cougars are becoming less shy. However, while most of us modern day mountain men love to see the wild beasts, there are a few things that terrify us: mosquitoes and blackflies!

God’s plan for Mother Nature is for everything to work together. As pesky as bats can be at times, they do their part by eating up to 3000 mosquitoes a night! But unfortunately the UP’s bat population is threatened right now, and in other parts of the country, due to White Nose Syndrome, a lethal fungus that affects bats. Needless to say, this year the bugs were horrible on our annual trip to the UP.

DSC_0613I remember the disgusted look on my wife’s face as we pulled into the cabin and she got out of the truck. “The bugs are horrible! Did you remember bug spray?”

One of the many great things about working for ScentBlocker is I get to test new products and gear. Proudly saving the day, and pretending like I was more prepared for vacation than my wife (which never happens) I pulled a case of BugBlocker out of the back of the truck. “Of course I did”.

There were twelve of us total on this vacation and I made sure that everyone never left the cabins without BugBlocker on. I also pre-treated out family’s pants, jackets and “firework watching” blankets with BugBlocker for ticks. And… it worked! Beautifully, I might add. The bugs were thick, but not bothering us. We were trout fishing on small forgotten ponds and creeks, pike fishing in a lake surrounded by a cranberry bog, kayaking rivers, playing at the beach, watching fireworks, cooking out, and you name it! We also never once got a tick. With the help of BugBlocker, we refused to let the bugs keep us inside this vacation.

There are several reasons to make sure everyone uses bug spray. First and foremost, mosquitoes have killed more humans throughout time than any other war or catastrophe combined! They simply feed relentlessly, transmitting disease as they go. Right now everyone is nervous about West Nile virus. In the past, it was various plagues. In the future, who knows? And ticks… those disgusting parasites that carry Lyme Disease, among many other things, I’ll be fine if I never see one of them again.

We also all remember what it is like to have an itching bug bite! It’s uncomfortable, and seems to last forever. Young children, without the sense and willpower of educated adults, just scratch and pick away at bug bites- often creating infected scabs and lifelong scars.

Whether it’s to preserve the sanctity of the family vacation, to enjoy a neighborhood cookout, to prevent disease, or to protect innocent skin, we all need to be using bug spray this summer! I for one am glad I have BugBlocker in my corner. In fact, as soon as I got back home, I ordered another case.

As always, be safe and have fun on your family adventures this summer.

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