Summer is quickly fading into fall, and in 2021 the learning landscape still looks different depending on your location. Some areas are returning to the classroom full-time, some are staying virtual, and some are adopting the best of both worlds with hybrid learning scenarios. With this adoption of alternative classroom settings, some educators are discovering that integrating nature into the curriculum breathes new life into learning.
While teaching in nature can pique new interests in your students, it also creates the opportunity to end the day covered in bug bites. Here’s how you can fight the bite when learning outside.
Plan your lessons according to Mother Nature’s schedule. Heavy rains and high humidity can cause an influx of mosquitoes. Biting flies have been known to be most active in the morning and late afternoon. Ticks have higher populations in heavily wooded areas with high grass.
Having awareness of the type of environments that nuisance insects thrive in can aid in keeping students focused on the lesson, rather than pesky bugs.
Prepare for the Day
Let parents know that you plan to spend a portion of the day outdoors and suggest that they pack an EPA-registered repellant for their child to use. In addition to repellant, they can also dress their child in insect-repellant clothing. According to Mosquito Squad’s entomologist, products containing DEET are the most effective in combatting mosquito bites.
If parents prefer more natural treatments, essential oils can be worn to repel mosquitoes. Lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are examples of scents that are attractive to humans but unappealing to mosquitoes.
Work With Your Environment
Protecting yourself from the elements will help you focus on learning. Be sure you set up your classroom in a space that is shaded – either by trees or the shadow of your school. Also, be sure to take precautions so that your outdoor classroom doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
You can refer to Mosquito Squad’s 7 Ts for a full checklist on how to combat mosquitoes. However, you can keep it simple in your outdoor classroom with these three Ts:
- Tip: Get rid of standing water in your outdoor spaces. Standing water may be in your child’s plastic toys, areas underneath downspouts, plant saucers, or dog bowls. Other areas may include traps, gutters, and flat roofs.
- Toss: Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood, and grass clippings from your yard.
- Turn: Turn over larger yard items that could hold water, like children's portable sandboxes, plastic toys, or birdbaths.
If you find that your students thrive in an outdoor setting and you want to continue making the most of the alternative educational experience, call the professionals at Mosquito Squad to help you fight the bite against mosquitoes and ticks.