Mosquito

Summertime and mosquitoes seem to always come together. Outside of barbeques, traveling, and hiking in warmer climates, you will need to be prepared for the bugs that like to suck your blood.

The proteins in the saliva of the mosquito stay after they fly off your you swat them, and then the immune system attacks, leaving you with a histamine reaction, itching, and swelling.

There are ways to avoid these bites and of course, any aftermath of some of those West Nile, Zika, or malaria diseases that mosquitos carry; and even heartworm for your pets.

7. Minimize Exposure

Mosquitoes Bacteria

The best way to minimize bites is to cover any exposed skin when outside. Cotton is too thin and too lightly woven, A great protector is high-tech athletic apparel, which is woven tightly to keep bugs out. Wear long pants and long sleeves. “Mosquitoes can’t penetrate clothing that has a tight weave,” says Jonathan Day, Ph.D. professor of Medical Entomology at the University of Florida. Use bug spray on whatever skin is still exposed. Mosquitos are in larger numbers at dawn and at dusk.

6. Drain Any Standing Water and/or Grow Repellants

Fake Plants

If you have pots or containers with water keep them drained; it is a breeding ground for mosquitos. Try growing plants that repel mosquitoes like dill, lemongrass, citronella, basil, lavender, and peppermint.

5. Make Yourself Taste Less Appealing

Sweat

Find something that can absorb your sweat; sweating attracts mosquitoes. No alcohol, spicy foods, or bananas before going out for a hike or a picnic. These make you pretty tasty to those pesky biters. They are finding that your blood type and genetics play a large part in how tasty you are to mosquitoes.

4. No Scented Perfumes

Perfume

It seems many perfumes and scented lotions attract biting insects. “Any scented perfume, lotion, or soap could potentially attract mosquitoes.” Says Nancy Troyane Ph. D. a board certified entomologist.

3. Wear Light Colored Clothes

Light Colored Clothing

It appears that the mosquito’s vision sees darker or brightly colored clothes as a bull’s eye since they stand out more than a light color. Light colors blend into the landscape so are harder to differentiate.

Related: 11 Helpful Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites

2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Is a Primary Target

Fresh Breath

People who produce more CO2 are target-ready for these biters, it is what they search for. If you have elevated heart rates or are breathing heavier, you will create more CO2. Certain foods and exercise increase your metabolic rates, which increase CO2, making you irresistible for a mosquito.

1. Use Bug Spray

Bug Sprays

DEET is recommended, or you can use several more natural sprays such as lemon or eucalyptus oil on any exposed skin. The thin-skinned areas like your wrist, ankle, elbow, and forehead are easy pickings for mosquitos, so make sure to cover or spray these areas. It also helps to stay near breezes or fans where mosquitos find it harder to navigate in.

How to Treat Mosquito Bites

Treating Mosquito Bite

You should apply ice to decrease swelling. If you are having any other reactions, like difficulty breathing, fever, more irritation, or greater swelling, then use an anti-histamine tablet.

In some cases, both for preventing and treating, use essential oils of rosemary, lavender, peppermint, or citronella with apple cider vinegar; this may help control biting, itching, and swelling.

Related: 11 Plants That Help Keep Mosquitoes Away

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