Use these tips to keep biting, flying visitors from crashing your cookouts and camping trips this summer!
Create a headwind
Using a fan outdoors may seem like a waste of energy, but it can save you the energy of swatting away mosquitoes all evening.
Placing an electric fan on your deck or patio and setting it to medium or high will make it difficult for mosquitoes to approach. It also blows away the carbon dioxide humans produce, which attracts mosquitoes.
Have a green thumb
Get rid of weeds and unruly vegetation. These are mosquito magnets.
Mosquitoes hate certain plants and flowers so consider growing citronella, lemon balm, marigolds, basil or peppermint.
Go to the source
Eliminate spots where the next generations of mosquitoes can thrive by overturning containers of standing water, getting rid of spots where water could pool, and keeping water in fountains and bird baths circulating.
OK to spray
Despite its bad reputation, DEET can be used safely, and it's very effective against ticks. Look for DEET-based bug sprays containing 30 percent or less of the chemical. Products containing DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months old.
Repellents with the active ingredients picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective and long lasting, but the latter should be used only on children age 3 or older.
Herbal and botanical sprays may seem like good natural alternatives, but many aren't considered insecticides by the Environmental Protection Agency. These natural alternatives haven't been tested for their effectiveness, and they may not work as advertised and also may provoke allergic reactions.
Did you know?
- Wearing dark clothing can make you more likely to be bitten.
- Drinking alcohol can draw mosquitoes to you, a recent study indicates.
- Some people swear by DIY tricks to keep mosquitoes away, such as setting out dryer sheets or running a bubble machine.
- Only female mosquitoes feed on human blood.
- Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. They can transmit West Nile Virus and malaria.
If an insect bite's redness, swelling or pain level worsens, it could be
infected, and you should see your primary care provider (PCP) promptly. Don't have a PCP? Find a doctor near you today.