Zika. Dengue. West Nile. There never seems to be a shortage of mosquitoes-borne illnesses! What’s more, increased news reports on these have wreaked terror and anxiety to people of all ages.
The best thing to do now is work out ways to protect yourself from these pesky insects. Personally, I’ve tried out some of these, and boy, do they work! Our family hasn’t had a mosquito bite since.
Here are four ways you can protect your family against mosquitoes.
1. Keep Up the Breeze (Mosquitoes can’t fly well)
Mosquitoes have difficulty flying at air speeds above 10 miles per hour. This is the reason why windy and breezy areas don’t usually have mosquitoes. Additionally, wind helps thin out the body scents that attract them.
Using a fan, especially at floor level, can help keep these nasty pests away. They usually fly at lower levels (yes, perfect for targeting your legs and feet!). They do this to avoid breezes and air currents. Floor fans can work tremendously well against mosquitoes especially if they can be made to blow across your entire body.
2. Check your Clothing Choices
Certain fibers can help defend against these bloodsuckers. Clothes that are more tightly knit, like those made from synthetic fibers, can block mosquitoes more effectively. These include nylon, rayon and polyester.
There are even clothes made to truly repel mosquitoes! They’re treated with a chemical called permethrin, a known insecticide and repellant. Amazingly, such clothes work for up to 25 washings.
Aside from opting for these fibers, choose light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes are less attracted to light colors because they don’t create as much contrast to the environment, thus are more difficult to target. Oh, covering up with long sleeves and long pants is important as well. So is wearing socks and shoes, especially at peak mosquito times like sunset.
3. Bring on the Repellents
Insect repellents exist in a wide array of scents and forms. Studies show, however, that those containing DEET, picaridin, and lemon eucalyptus are the most effective. Natural-based insect repellents may keep the mozzies away, but they offer short-lived protection.
When using insect repellents, make sure that they don’t get into your eyes, nose or mouth. Supervise children who are applying them as well. Apply repellents only to exposed skin and clothing.
4. Go back to (and eliminate!) the Source
I know, this is a no-brainer. But oftentimes, it’s something most people overlook. Of course, mosquitoes have to come from somewhere. If you notice that there are more of these bloodsuckers than usual, there may be a source nearby.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Look around your yard if there may be containers that harbor such sources. A misplaced bottle, a flowerpot saucer, an old dog dish… Any of these can accumulate rainwater, creating the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Scour the nearby areas regularly for such containers. Clean out gutters well, and check any water storage areas weekly. Keep empty containers well-covered or overturned as well.
I hope these tips can help keep you and your family safe from those evil mosquitoes!