Mosquito bites aren’t just itchy. A single bite is all it takes to transmit serious, mosquito-borne diseases. Although an occasional bite may be inevitable, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of being bitten.
At Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, our team helps patients stay healthy with preventive care, patient education, and lifestyle tips, including what to do to keep mosquitoes at bay. In this post, learn nine ways to avoid bites and lower your risk of disease.
Use mosquito repellent
Applying mosquito repellent to your skin and your clothing before going outdoors is one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes from biting. Look for products that contain one of the chemical compounds listed here, and follow the application directions on the label.
Drape a net
If you have a covered area in your yard where you like to hang out, drape it with mosquito netting for a protected shelter. You can also buy mosquito hats featuring netting that protects your face, a good choice for gardeners or hikers in mosquito-prone areas.
Look for — and eliminate — standing water
Mosquitoes need still, undisturbed water for breeding. The females lay their eggs on the water surface. To keep mosquito populations down, look around for sources of standing water, like a clogged gutter, dirty birdbath, or forgotten bucket.
If you keep drinking water outside for your pet, change it every day to cut down on mosquito breeding grounds and to keep your pet healthy, too.
Wear protective clothing
Wearing lightweight clothing, like long pants and shirts with long sleeves, prevents mosquitos from reaching your skin. Don’t forget socks to protect your feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Skip the scents
People think of mosquitoes as solely surviving on blood, but actually, mosquitoes only use blood to support their reproductive cycle. Otherwise, they enjoy nectar (and actually play an important role as pollinators).
Like other pollinating insects, they’re attracted to floral scents. Skipping any type of perfume or scented body product or detergent could make you less attractive to mosquitoes and other insects, too.
Use a fan
Mosquitoes are tiny and lightweight, and their wings aren’t very strong. That’s why you tend to see fewer mosquitoes on breezy days. You can replicate the same effect by using a fan near an outdoor seating area.
Stick to light colors
Mosquitos prefer darker colors, and recent research shows they also like red, orange, and cyan (greenish blue). Wearing light colors just might help you appear less appetizing to them.
Take a shower
Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and other natural body odors. Take a shower before heading outdoors to decrease your natural scent, especially if you’ve been perspiring. Avoid soaps or liquid cleansers that contain perfumes, since these may attract mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Avoid mosquito happy hours
Mosquitoes tend to be most active during the cooler, damper hours of the day, including both early morning and late afternoon or dusk. Limit your time outdoors during these times to reduce your risk of bites, but remember that mosquitoes are still present at other times, so using other options, like repellant, is still important.
Don’t let mosquitoes keep you from enjoying your summer. To learn what else you can do to stay healthy or what to do if you develop symptoms after a mosquito bite, call us to book an appointment with our team at Macomb Medical Clinic today.