The days are getting longer, and who doesn’t love all that extra sunshine? Well, we’re not the only ones. Mosquitoes also love the longer days of spring and summer. While most active during dawn and dusk, mosquitoes are a menace to anyone who enjoys spending time outside. The buzzing, the itching and the possibility of disease are exactly why we’ve put together a list of the best ways to keep the mosquitoes away while enjoying the great summer nights.
- Wear Light Clothing
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, by wearing light-colored clothing you can use a mosquito’s biology against itself. Be careful though! Wearing bright clothing (pink, yellows, oranges) can attract other stinging and biting bugs like wasps.
- Use Bug Spray
This one seems obvious, but one of the best ways to keep the mosquitoes away is to use bug spray. Bug sprays containing DEET are universally accepted as the most effective. The DEET blocks your sent from the mosquitoes, so even if they land on you, you don’t smell good enough to taste. If you have any concerns about using DEET or other bug sprays talk to your PCP first. Do not use bug spray on children under 2 months old.
- Avoid Standing Water
Mosquitoes mate near standing water. Puddles, ponds, lakes, water bowls, and tires are all common sources of standing water. By emptying standing water in pet dishes, old tires, fire pits, and the like, at least once a week, you can drastically cut down on how many mosquitoes are born in your area. If you are out and see areas of standing water, avoid them as they are likely swarming with mosquitoes.
- Cover Your Skin
While this sounds like something you definitely don’t want to do with that Ohio Valley humidity, mosquitoes can’t bite what they can’t get to. Covering your skin gives the mosquito less room at the dinner table to chow down, so you’re going to get bit less. With small children this can be the best defense.
- Blow them Away
The small little pests are, no surprise, not very strong fliers. Because they are so small, a small breeze can completely throw them off course. Something as small as blowing on your arm, but of course you aren’t going to spend all afternoon blowing the bugs off. Setting up a small fan, or turning on the A/C can do the trick.
- Try not to Scratch
After a mosquito does bite you, all you want to do is scratch, but just like with Chicken Pox, scratching will only make it worse. Not only do you run the risk of possibly scarring, but scratching actually makes the skins reaction to the bite worse. This means, the more you scratch, the more it will itch.
While this list may seem obvious for some, it is always helpful to review the best practices for keeping your family safe year round. Mosquito bite prevention can not only be healthy, but more comfortable as well. No one wants to spend the whole cookout scratching.
For more information about mosquito bite prevention visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html