Stop ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers from ruining your time outside

Whether you're exercising outdoors or taking a walk to connect with nature, one thing that isn't so great about the outdoors are the myriad of pest insects that can cause pain or discomfort, or potentially spread disease.

Dr. Rob Lawrence, a forest entomologist, says people should consider insect bites a factor when they go outside and plan accordingly. "Basically, the main thing to think about is how you can protect yourself and not be exposed," Lawrence said.

Lawrence's job entails staying one step ahead of forest pests like ticks, mosquitoes and chiggers, to study insect behavior and keep an eye on their numbers. He says for the outdoors person, there are a few easy ways to keep the ticks off your back.

"Using DEET or some kind of a repellant definitely helps - wearing long sleeves, long pants, and generally staying out of the brushy areas where you'll be exposed to more of it."

Army veteran Ron Threadgill says he will never forget the time he was bitten by a tick, because for him the consequences were more severe. "

That's why it is always important to check your clothes after an outing, especially after walking through tall grass. As for mosquitoes, there are a number of steps you can take to stop them from biting when you are enjoying the outdoors.

One method of keeping the bugs away from your head is a mosquito hat - these inexpensive mesh hats offer complete head and neck protection from all bugs. Otherwise, a baseball cap offers some protection, and of course a generous amount of bug spray.

As for chiggers, Dr. Lawrence explains you'll want to get them off before they bite. "After you've been outdoors or working, playing with your kids on the lawn, it's a good idea to go in and take a good shower to remove them before they get too attached," Lawrence said.

Using bug spray and dressing appropriately for your outdoors activity will go a long way towards keeping you bug free.

Click here to watch KRCG's complete interview with Dr. Rob Lawrence, forest entomologist.