Mosquitoes and their bites can be downright annoying. The little red bumps, the itching and even the risk of catching a serious disease can give you anxiety about these little bugs. While the risk of Zika is fairly low in the United States, you could still catch it and it could give you mild flu-like symptoms or an autoimmune disease.
Pregnant women are more at risk because it could cause serious birth defects. Here are some tips on keeping the mosquitoes away and lowering your risk of disease.
1. Get rid of stagnant water in your yard
Get rid of any water in your backyard like water in a kiddie pool, garbages, plates under your flowers or toys left out in the yard. Think of anything that can attract water when it rains. If you have a pond or a yard that fills with water, do your best to drain it or keep these things away from your home or where you sit outdoors. If you have a pool, no need to worry, the bugs don’t like chlorinated water. If you are unsure where the mosquitoes are coming from or where they are attracted to, hire a professional to help you debug your backyard.
2. Eat indoors when you can or tent the area for a big outdoor gathering
Most mosquitoes bite in the evening and may be attracted to you and that delicious smelling food. Aim to eat indoors as much as possible, especially at night. If you enjoy eating outdoors or are having a party, try getting mosquito netting or a tent that covers the area you’ll be in to avoid the little critters. If you are having a large party and don’t have a tent to cover the area, try spraying your yard with an insect repellant the day before or call a professional to help.
3. Use candles and other natural repellents
Candles, especially ones that contain citronella, are great for keeping mosquitoes away. Some plants also produce natural chemicals that ward off insects. Keep in mind some plants may need to be roughed up in order to release said chemicals.
4. Re-apply repellent and dress properly
Use a lotion or spray that keeps mosquitoes at bay and remember to reapply after a few hours. A lotion or spray containing DEET (it’s safe, even for kids, when used as directed), picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon or eucalyptus is your best bet for keeping mosquitoes away. If you don’t like using chemicals, look for essential oils that work to keep bugs away as well. You can often make your own DIY spray with recipes found online. Make sure to cover up, especially your feet. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so aim for lighter colors for your clothing and shoes when you are outdoors for a while.
Do you worry about mosquitoes in the summer? What is your favorite spray to get rid of them?
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