Mosquitoes are annoying, nasty little insects that bug us to no end. Especially in the summer months, they cause many itchy, annoying bites, and their bites hurt, too! Not only are they irritating, but mosquitoes can also carry the deadly West Nile virus or malaria. Here are some ways you can stop mosquitoes from getting you.
Wear Insect Repellent
When you’re outside, insect repellent is an excellent defense against mosquitoes. While you can take many other measures to help keep yourself from being bit, wearing insect repellent all over you is what’s going to actually help keep the mosquitoes away from you altogether. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you wear an insect repellent that contains either DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also keeps a list of recommended mosquito repellents on its website.
Cover Your Skin
If you can’t avoid being outside, it’s a good idea to wear protective clothing that will cover your skin, such as long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and hats. At the same time, mosquitoes are attracted to warm bodies, so don’t wear very heavy clothing that’s going to make you sweat and overheat. Wear thin, cool clothing with light colors to help yourself stay cool.
Avoid Mosquito-Prone Areas
Mosquitoes prefer certain types of environments, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Mosquitoes are attracted to water, especially standing water, so avoid wetlands, pools, swamps, etc., and also eliminate any standing water on your property, such as bird baths and puddles. Mosquitoes also like the woods, grass, and bushes, so stay out of wooded areas and places with high grass or a lot of overgrowth. Hot, humid environments attract mosquitoes.
Sleep Under a Net
If you’re on a camping trip or sleeping outside for any reason, it’s a good idea to bring a mosquito net to sleep inside. A mosquito net can be put over a tent, for example, and it will help prevent mosquitoes from flying in and biting you while you’re asleep and defenseless. Mosquito nets save lives in malaria-infested areas of Africa, and they’re excellent ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes while you’re outside or if you’re unable to keep the pests out of your home.
Be Careful at Night
Mosquitoes do most of their biting when it is dark outside, in between when the sun goes down and when it comes up again. Their activity increases once dusk begins settling, and they remain active through the dawn. When you’re outside at night, be extra cautious against mosquito bites.
You should also educate yourself as much as possible about mosquitoes in your area. Some areas and some times of the year have much more mosquito activity than others, so watch the news in your area for reports about mosquito activity and West Nile reports. You’ll know when it’s especially important for you be vigilant outside and can protect yourself with your knowledge.