Summertime is synonymous with outdoor activities, and while we all enjoy the warmth, unfortunately mosquitoes come along as an unwanted guest. Mosquitoes are not merely a nuisance, but can transmit diseases such as malaria, Zika and Dengue. Mosquito-borne diseases are responsible for the deaths of over 725,000 people annually. Fortunately, there are effective ways to protect ourselves from mosquito attacks and we have outlined 6 tips below.
1. Wear Appropriate Clothing
When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and housedresses, and wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colors, and covering your skin helps to reduce the number of bites.
When you go outdoors, make sure to apply insect repellents which contain at least 20% (up to 30%) DEET or 20% picaridin. These repellents can be used on clothing as well as exposed skin, and the effectiveness typically lasts several hours. Be sure to follow the safety instructions listed on the package.
Remove Standing Water
Mosquitoes are known to breed in standing water. Eliminate potential breeding grounds of mosquitoes by removing standing water sources such as water in buckets, birdbaths, old tires, and swimming pools. Change the water in outdoor containers periodically to prevent breeding.
2. Install Screens On Windows and Doors
The best way to keep mosquitoes from entering your home is to install screens on windows and doors. Look for screens with mesh that has openings of 0.2 – 0.5mm, as they will be more effective at keeping out mosquitoes.
Use an Air Conditioner
Mosquitoes thrive in warm, humid environments. By using an air conditioner or keeping windows and doors closed, the temperature indoors can remain cooler and dryer, making it an inhospitable environment for mosquitoes.
Install a Fan
Mosquitoes tend to be less active in an area of strong wind, so installing a fan nearby can help to reduce the number mosquitoes.
3. Avoid Going Outdoors At dusk and Dawn
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn when the temperatures are cooler. To reduce the risk of getting bitten, stay indoors during these times.
Take Care When Traveling Internationally
Mosquito-borne diseases are most common in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. When traveling abroad, be sure to take all the necessary precautions to ensure your protection from mosquito attacks.
Check Public Health Advisories
Prior to traveling, check public health advisories for the latest information on the prevalence of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases in the country or region you are visiting.
There are many steps that can be taken to protect yourself from mosquito attacks. These include wearing appropriate clothing, applying insect repellents, removing standing water, installing screens on windows and doors, avoiding going outdoors at dawn and dusk, taking care when traveling abroad, and checking public health advisories. Taking these precautionary steps can help to ensure your protection from mosquito bites and, in turn, from mosquito-borne diseases.