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3 Reasons to Bring a Screen Canopy Camping

A screen tent or canopy allows fresh air to blow through while protecting everyone inside from nasty bugs.
A screen tent or canopy allows fresh air to blow through while protecting everyone inside from nasty bugs. (Tailgaterz/)

Nothing ruins a day outdoors faster than being attacked by flying, biting insects. No matter the species, they all have a way of turning an otherwise memorable evening into a miserable bloodletting. A screen house for camp, the beach, or even the backyard can turn an inhospitable location into a glorious setting insulated from three of the most common winged pests.

Horseflies

Horsefly bites are some of the most irritating, but you can avoid them inside a screened tent.
Horsefly bites are some of the most irritating, but you can avoid them inside a screened tent. (Coleman/)

Horseflies belong to a broad category of nuisances in the order Diptera, which also includes common house flies, deer files, and the rest of their hundred-eyed kin. But horseflies pack the biggest wallop, often drawing a wheal worthy of a hornet. Regrettably, they are found worldwide. Fun facts: Horseflies always take off in an upward direction to escape confinement. That's why commercial horsefly traps, or Manitoba traps as they are called, have their capture jar at the upper end, into which the horsefly must inevitably crawl to its well-deserved death. Also, only female horseflies bite humans.

Mosquitoes

A screened canopy can allow you to enjoy camping without constantly swatting at insects.
A screened canopy can allow you to enjoy camping without constantly swatting at insects. (Wenzel/)

West Nile virus, Zika, yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, and a host of other transmissible hazards make the common mosquito the king of outdoor pests. They literally suck, and their saliva causes almost instantaneous itching. As measured by average annual deaths (700,000), mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet. Fun fact: Some people are more susceptible to mosquito bites than others. An individual's vulnerability can be a function of blood type and other factors, like the amount of lactic acid in their blood.

No-see-ums

Insects are attracted to food odors, so eating meals inside a screened tent is always a good idea.
Insects are attracted to food odors, so eating meals inside a screened tent is always a good idea. (Tailgaterz/)

Pound for pound, the no-see-um, or biting midge, may be the worst of the lot. At only 1 to 3 millimeters in length, you don't really see them coming until it's too late. They can be especially obnoxious in coastal environments and demonstrate a particular disdain for your long walks on the beach at sunset.

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