Enjoy Your Santa Clarita Hike, Not The Bugs

Take A Beautiful Santa Clarita Hike - Minus the Insects

Here in Santa Clarita, we have many scenic hikes to enjoy. Vast mountain ranges, green plants (sometimes), sunny skies, and the ambiance of nature – what’s not to love? Hikes are great because they allow us to connect with the earth, get some exercise, and take in the amazing scenery. However, hikes and nature also come with insects. 

While on a hike, keep in mind that you’re entering a bug’s natural environment. It’s their home, and we need to be respectful. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer bites and frights. You can still enjoy the jaw-dropping hikes of Santa Clarita, despite the presence of insects. 

No one deserves to be attacked by nosy pests along their hike. More so, no one deserves the headache that comes when those bugs follow you back home. You’re in luck, though! The Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Inc are here to help keep bugs away from your property. 

If you’re struggling to keep the bugs outside where they belong, dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita pest control professionals at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Inc.  

Hiking in Santa Clarita

5 Great Places to Hike in Santa Clarita

Even lifelong residents would be surprised to learn how many scenic hikes we have here in Santa Clarita. Accompanied by pretty views, mountains as far as the eye can see, and the occasional wildlife sighting, Santa Clarita’s hiking trails offer everyone something different!  

If you're looking to widen your hiking horizons or simply want to try something new, here are some of Santa Clarita’s top hikes!

1. Towsley Canyon

Towsley Canyon hiking trails are located in Ed Davis Park, which is named after former State Senator Ed Davis, who championed the preservation of this canyon. 

Towsley Canyon includes some of SCV’s most well-known and enjoyable hiking trails found on the north side of the Santa Susana Mountains. 

Hikes You Can Take In Towsley Canyon:

  1. Don Mullally Trail
    • Location: 24335 The Old Rd, Newhall, CA 91321
    • Distance: 5.3 Miles
    • Difficulty: Intermediate (including hills and elevation gain)
    • Type: Loop
    • Approximate Time: 1 Hour
  2. Towsley Creek
    • Location: 24335 The Old Rd, Newhall, CA 91321
    • Distance: 5.3 Miles
    • Difficulty: Challenging (including significant elevation change)
    • Type: Loop
    • Approximate Time: 3 Hours
    • Dog Friendly
  3. Taylor Trail
    • Location: Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381 – Taylor Trail Wilderness & Open Space Area
    • Distance: 1.8 Miles
    • Difficulty: Intermediate 
    • Type: Point to Point
    • Approximate Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
    • Dog Friendly

2. Vasquez Rocks Trail

The Vasquez Rock Natural Area Park and its trails are famous for their stunning rock formations. Countless movies, TV shows, and commercials have featured these stunning rocks. 

The Vasquez Rocks are a thirty-minute drive from Santa Clarita, just short of Agua Dulce. 

An interesting fact about Vasquez Rocks is that it gets its name from Tiburcio Vasquez, who was a notorious Californian bandit who used these rocks to hide from law enforcement in 1874.

    • Location: 10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA 91390
    • Distance: 2.7 Miles
    • Difficulty: Moderate  
    • Type: Loop
    • Approximate Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
    • Dog Friendly

3. Haskell Canyon Open Space

It would not be unreasonable to say that Haskell Canyon is widely beloved by SCV locals and avid hikers. Unlike the previously mentioned locations, Haskell Canyon includes undeveloped and unpaved trails. Because of this, the trails may be more steep and difficult to trek, depending on your strength as a hiker. But the challenge is undeniably worth the spectacular scenery.

    • Location: Santa Clarita, CA 91390- Haskell Open Space (described to have a small parking lot right off of Copper Hill Road, marked by a large sign)
    • Distance: 2.2 Miles
    • Difficulty: Moderate  
    • Type: Loop
    • Approximate Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
    • Dog Friendly

3 Harmful Bugs on Your Hiking Trail

As much as we enjoy hiking excursions, we can never forget that we’re walking into a critter’s home. Rodents, insects, snakes, deer – we’re interrupting their ecosystem, and they don’t have pest control. And for some insects, we’re fair game for bites, stings, and hitchhiking. 

1. Ticks

Ticks are parasitic arachnids. “Arachnid” is a fancy word that encompasses a class of joint-legged invertebrate insects, including our not-so-friendly neighborhood spiders. 

Adult ticks are approximately 3-5 mm long, depending on their age, sex, and species. Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of mammals, birds, and the occasional reptile and amphibian.

Santa Clarita’s trails have many bushes and dense grassy areas. For ticks, these are the perfect places to call home, as they can feed on live animals like deer, rabbits, birds, lizards, squirrels, and mice. 

Ticks can easily crawl onto your boots or clothing to reach your skin, and they may not even need to make that much of an effort. You can pick up a vampire hitchhiker simply by brushing against a bush or tree. The same warning applies to pets, so keep a watchful eye on your furry hiking companions.

Common indicators of ticks include, but are not limited to:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Rashes

 To get rid of a tick,  the CDC (Center for Disease Control) provides these directions: 

“Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers.”

2. Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets are part of the wasp and hornet family. These flying bugs have yellow and black markings accompanied by long black wings. 

Yellowjackets can both sting and bite! Unlike bees, yellowjackets do not lose their ovipositors when they sting someone, which means that they can prick you multiple times. Yellowjackets also bite when they are stinging to stabilize themselves and strike with better aim. 

Yellowjackets are more aggressive than bees and wasps. It is important to leave these insects alone and not provoke them during your hike. 

When a yellowjacket stings you, it penetrates your skin with its stinger and injects a venom that causes sudden pain. The inflammation and/or redness around the sting site can last for a few hours. 

Common indicators of ticks include, but are not limited to:

  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Itching

If you get stung by a yellowjacket, take some time to check for signs of an allergic reaction. If you don’t need immediate or emergency medical assistance, a cold pack can help with the pain symptoms. Over-the-counter medication can also assist in relieving itchiness and inflammation. 

3. Mosquitoes

Mosquitos are slender, long-legged flying insects. They tend to linger around still pools of water, so if your hike has waterfalls or puddles, be ready to find mosquitos. 

Mosquito bites usually appear a few hours later as small red bumps that itch. Do not scratch these bites, as it can worsen the injury and cause an infection. Learn how to alleviate the itch by reading 5 Home Remedies to Soothe Mosquito Bites!

4 Tips For When Your Encounter Insects On Your Hike

Do not let the presence of bugs discourage you from taking your Santa Clarita hike! Follow these tips to prepare for your adventure in a way that help keep you and the insects happy and safe. 

1. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants can help keep bugs off your skin. These clothing choices may seem simple, but they can provide a great deal of protection against insect bites. However, keep the weather in mind when picking out your outfit, especially during the hot summer months. 

2. Choose a Light-Colored Outfit

There are a few reasons why lighter-colored clothing is recommended for hikes. Not only is it a great way to stay visible during your trek (safety first!), but it also makes it easier to notice insect hitchhikers. Many bugs are attracted to darker colors and can blend into gray, brown, and black fabrics and leathers. 

Choose your palette wisely:

  • Shades of red, pink, and orange attract fewer insects. 
  • Flies hate yellow, but bees, wasps, and pollen beetles love it.
  • Mosquitoes love black and are drawn to red, navy, forest green, purple, and white. 
  • Pastel colors repel mosquitoes and other insects. 
  • Horseflies are attracted to dark moving objects, so avoid dark browns and blacks.
  • Mosquitoes and flies have trouble detecting stripes. 

3. Tuck Your Socks In

No one likes creepy, crawly insects sneaking into their clothes and shoes. Wear socks during your hike to protect your feet from bites. By tucking in your socks under your leggings or pants, or vice versa, you can eliminate the chances of bugs – especially ticks – crawling into your pants or making a home in your shoe. 

4. Be Prepared with a First Aid Kit

Water is the #1 item you need to take on your hike. The second is a first aid kit. After all, you are exposed to many potential dangers when you hike, not just insects. Wild animals, trips and falls, heat exhaustion, sudden illness, wildfires (hey, it’s SoCal) – it’s best to stay prepared for these unknowns with a handy dandy first aid kit comprised of household items and drug store necessities. 

Items you should carry include, but are not limited to:

  • Water
  • Band-aids
  • Illumination
  • Snacks 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Navigational Tool
First Aid

Come Home Refreshed & Bug-Free

As you come home from your enjoyable hike, refresh yourself with a shower, lemonade, and a hearty meal! But after guarding yourself against bugs all day, the last thing you want is to carry insects into the house. Be mindful of where you change clothes, check your shoes for stragglers, and try to toss what you can in the washing machine ASAP. 

Tired of stepping around hopping springtails or fighting ants in your kitchen? Reduce your bug stress at home by calling No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. We offer safer, affordable, and more natural treatments that create a protective barrier around your property. We live by our slogan: No bugs, no worries! 

Dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs. We can inspect your property and create a safer space for you, your family members, and your pets.