Summer is mosquito season. These flying pests not only leave itchy bites, they also carry a host of diseases, like malaria, Zika virus, Dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever, and West Nile Virus. Though most of these diseases are nonexistent in North America, it always pays to keep these bothersome creatures at bay. To enjoy mosquito-free summer, follow the tips below:
The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) recommends using a spray, lotion, or liquid repellent containing twenty to thirty percent DEET or twenty percent picaridin to effectively repel mosquitoes. You can also spray your clothing or gear with a spray containing permethrin, which is effective against mosquitoes and ticks. A 2015 study of commercial repellents found that Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus spray was the only effective DEET-free option.
At night, we’re particularly vulnerable to mosquitoes since we won’t notice if we’re bitten. To avoid waking up covered in bites, sleep under a mosquito net. You can also carry a portable mosquito repeller, like Thermacell, which will give you fifteen feet of protection at any time, even when you’re sleeping.
Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. You should remove leaves from gutters, where water can collect, and change bird bath water a few times per week. Also, mosquitoes are more active just after sunrise and just before sunset, so you should schedule your time outside accordingly. Also, plants like basil, lavender, and catnip in your garden will naturally repel mosquitoes.
If you do spend time outside in the evening, add a mosquito trap that uses CO2 and UV light to attract and catch biting insects. Also, larvicide briquettes, small, doughnut-shaped tablets, kill mosquitoes and are harmless to humans, plants, and animals.
Finally, if you’re having an outdoor party, add a few fans since any wind above one mile per hour will make it difficult for the mosquitoes to fly around and prey on guests. You should also point fans at your legs and the ground, where mosquitoes usually fly.