Ahh, summertime and you’re relaxing by a campfire at a BBQ trying to enjoy your evening and … buzz, buzz … is all you hear. Mosquitoes swarming and biting are not only annoying but can cause reactions and, as we all know, spread disease. The list of mosquito-borne diseases is long and though most are region specific, the threat is a real one. Other than staying inside (who wants to do that), here are some things that you can do to minimize mosquito bites.
- Wear light colored clothing.
Mosquitoes fly close to the ground and search for colors that contrast with the horizon to find their targets. Dark clothing makes you stand out and an easy target while lighter colored clothing is less appealing to them.
- Forget the citronella and fancy gadgets.
Unless the smoke from that candle is between you and the mosquito, it’s useless in preventing them from biting you. The torches, ultrasonic devices, bracelets, and many others won’t prevent them completely. Some Internet sites even say that eating cloves of garlic will help prevent them but other than making you smelly, it doesn’t do much in the way of mosquito bites. Why don’t they work? I’m glad you asked …see number 3.
- They are attracted to CO2.
If you’re outside engaging in an activity, your skin is giving off more CO2 and making you more attractive to the mosquitoes. Slowing your heart rate can slow the amount of CO2 your skin releases and will help in keeping them from biting you. Alcohol, spicy foods, being overweight, and pregnancy can also cause higher heart rates which cause higher CO2 levels.
- Plan your outdoor activity spot wisely.
Anything more than a one MPH breeze can make it hard for a mosquito to fly. If you have a place at your campsite, house, park, or field that has a little breeze, plan your activity there. It’s free and easy to help keep the mosquitoes away.
- Timing is everything.
Wind tends to die down at sunrise and sunset (as most boaters and fisherman know), so those are peak times for mosquitoes to feed. If possible, try to plan the timing of your event away from those times to increase your odds of keeping the annoying biters away.
- DEET works.
Though its suffered a bad rap over the years, the research has said that it is effective for the prevention of bites. Some people do react to it but the worse cases are rare and if you’re using it as directed (like not swallowing it), you should be fine. That being said, it is not a perfume and should not be applied to your body and cloths in that manner. Remember the CO2 thing above with your skin? That is where DEET will be its most effective. It’s better to spray it in your hands and rub on the areas that are most susceptible to bites.
Also, DEET concentration is more about the length of time it lasts and not how effective it works. A smaller percentage of DEET is fine, and can always be reapplied when needed.
These steps can help you a great deal in enjoying your summertime activities outdoors without the mosquito bites to go along with it. There are other treatment methods that are greatly effective from plant species to yard treatment. A pest management professional can help with making that summer bash enjoyable -with far fewer pesky mosquitoes – no matter how many steps you follow. Call Modern or click to learn more about our Mosquito Control program.