Mosquitoes can ruin your summer. Not only do they impact nasty, itchy welts that keep you awake through the night, but they can also carry diseases. In this article, we will take a look at the mosquito protection tactics you can use so as to stay safe from these disease-causing insects.
Stay Indoors (Especially When Mosquitoes are at Work)
Staying indoors is a simple method of avoiding mosquitoes. You can constrain yourself in a place with air conditioning. Also, choose an area with window/door insect screens. If you’re staying in a vulnerable open space (without screens and air conditioning), consider using a mosquito bed net.
Cover Yourself with Clothing
Mosquitos bite the skin so, consider covering unprotected skin. You can put on a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, or a hat when going outside. You can treat your clothing with synthetic insect repellants like permethrin to boost the covering effect. Some shops have clothing already treated with this chemical.
Keep Your Environment Dry
Mosquitos mostly lay eggs in stagnant water. If you want to hinder them from breeding on your homestead, find and drain any standing water. Common spots to identify are all sorts of containers in your backyard—including buckets, birdbaths, play equipment, garbage cans, flowerpots, etc. Also, find and destroy anything that can collect and keep water. Garbage cans also form favorable spots for mosquitoes. Treat your garbage cans with insecticide and cover them always.
Opt for Insect Repellants
When you stick to instructions, insect repellants can offer you the best protection against mosquitoes. In fact, the CDC instructs pregnant women and children to use insect repellents for self-protection.
When selecting an insect repellant for your skin, check whether they contain picaridin (KBR 3023) or DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). These are common and powerful active ingredients for most mosquito repellants. They offer excellent protection against mosquito bites, but DEET is more common. High concentrations of DEET can provide extended protection against mosquitoes for several hours in mosquito-vulnerable areas.
Mosquitoes stay active from dusk to dawn. Therefore, you should use repellants for the entire duration you are outside. You may also need to reapply the skin treatment if your skin gets wet or soaked with sweat.
Only use insect repellent on exposed skin. Essentially, focus more on your feet, ankles, legs, arms, neck and ears, avoiding areas under clothing. Also, avoid heavy application. And only spread the repellant on your face using your hands rather than directly. Finally, keep your mouth and eyes shut, preventing them from exposure to the chemical during application.
Natural Mosquito Repellants
Some people may be vulnerable to mosquito bites because of humidity, heat, light, or scent. Moreover, certain mosquito species like the malaria-causing female Anopheles mosquito are attracted to sweat and bacteria while others thrive in areas with high carbon dioxide levels and specific hand odors.
However, regardless of species type, you can prevent mosquito bites with consistent DEET application. We recommend that you consider natural options if visiting areas that are less prone to mosquito-borne diseases like Zika. Natural repellents are the best option when taking a camping trip, hanging out in your backyard, hiking and undertaking similar activities. It’s also better for children since they are more sensitive.
Here are typical natural repellants you can use:
Studies show that cinnamon oil can destroy mosquito eggs. In addition, you can use it to repel adult mosquitoes—preferably the Asian tiger mosquito. The solution is sprayed on your clothing, onto upholstery, plants, or your entire home.
Thyme oil can provide excellent natural protection against malaria-causing mosquitoes. Lab experiments with hairless mice show that thyme oil can protect against mosquitoes up to 91 percent. When burned, thyme leaves are also excellent mosquito repellants, offering 85 percent protection for about 60 to 90 minutes.
Citronella is a natural but typical, effective oil for protecting yourself against mosquito bites. It consists of herbs and is commonly incorporated into various mosquito repellants. Experts say citronella can provide at least 50% protection in an open environment.
Research at the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory portrays soybean-based products as excellent mosquito repellants (capable of long-lasting effects). Bite Block Kids is an example —containing 2% soybean oil. Soybean oil has been used by many people for years because it’s highly effective.