For people around the world, mosquito bites are one of the constants of summertime or in hotter climates they’re a year-round problem. Mosquitos survive by drinking blood and they get this blood by using their long, tubular mouths to piece animal and human skin. However, mosquito saliva is an irritant and when it gets under your skin, it can cause itchiness and redness.
This article will explain how to avoid mosquito bites, so that you can get on with enjoying the great outdoors.
The first thing you can do is to prevent mosquitos from biting you in the first place. The easiest way to do that is to avoid times and areas where you know there will be lots of mosquitos. Watch mosquito behavior in your area. They will tend to come out in hot, humid weather, especially around dusk.
Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water and so they will be significantly more common buzzing around those areas. Around you home, standing water can be found in disused birdbaths and in clogged storm drains. Wash out your birdbaths and unclog your drains for a noticeable impact.
If you have a pool, that’s a very large amount of standing water, so be sure to skim it frequently and keep it covered when not in use. There are also larger areas of standing water that you can’t really wash out, but you can avoid to prevent bites. These include bogs, swamps and marshes.
If you will be in a mosquito-heavy area, there are still steps you can take to prevent them from biting you. The easiest method is to put a barrier between you and the mosquito, in the form of long clothing. If you live in areas with extreme problems or where mosquito bites can actually carry dangerous diseases like malaria, consider investing in netting. This fine mesh is draped over your bed (or any other area) to create a protective barrier.
Just be sure you don’t rest against the sides of the net, where the mosquitos can get at you. When not in use be careful how you store the netting. A net crumpled on the ground can trap mosquitos inside, meaning they’ll be in there with you once the net is set up again. You should also inspect the nets frequently for holes or tears that mosquitos could use to get in.
Bug spray is another common method of avoiding mosquito bites. A bug spray with 30% to 50% DEET, the active chemical is recommended for adults – but we aware that DEET can be harmful in sufficient quantities.
Lower concentrations should be used on children, DEET should be kept away from food and use should be discontinued if you get a rash. You can opt for a more natural solution as well, such citronella, a natural plant oil which is available in candle or cream form. Bug zappers, large electrified apparatuses that attract the insects and then ‘zap’ them to death are not recommended.
They use a lot of power, they make a lot of noise, and they’re not nearly as effective as the other solutions.
None of these solutions are entirely effective. Bites do happen in general, the actual danger from a mosquito bite will be relatively low – unless you live in an area with high rates of malaria, in which case you may want to consult a physician. Even if there’s no danger, mosquito bites are ugly, itchy and annoying.
There are a number of topical treatments for bites that is to say, a number of substances you can apply to make the bites itch less and go away faster. Washing the bite with lukewarm water may help. Apply toothpaste to the bite and let it dry off.
Use an alcohol-based mouthwash, straight isopropyl alcohol or simple soap to clean the bite. Others have reported success using everything from lemon juice to mud to spit to deodorant.
A more scientific treatment would be to apply cortisone cream as quickly after the bite happens as possible. Rub the cream into the skin to reduce itching and swelling of mosquito bites, rashes and other skin problems. they are an annoying fact of life, but by following this guide, you can reduce their frequency, severity and ill effects.