Summer is a time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the great outdoors, but bugs can be a total mood-killer when you’re constantly defending yourself from their attacks. Mosquito bites can cause itchiness and general skin irritation along with other more severe illnesses and fatal diseases including malaria, West Nile virus, elephantiasis, dengue fever, and more.
Ever notice you get more mosquito bites than the rest of your family members and friends?
Five Reasons Why You Might Get Bit By Mosquitoes
Here are five reasons why mosquitoes might find you more bite-worthy and what you can do to stop the biting before it occurs.
You’re using the wrong repellent
Not all insect repellents are created equal. When shopping for your bug spray, pay special attention to the ingredients. Opt for the repellent that is EPA-registered and contains either DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Apply as directed to ensure safety and maximum effectiveness. During the daytime, be sure to slather on your sunblock before your repellent.
You’re wearing the wrong clothes
In the summer when the temperatures are rising most individuals are prone to wearing as little clothing as possible to help keep cool. However, the less clothing you have on, the more skin you have available for mosquitoes to chomp on. Try to cover exposed skin as much as possible by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Visit your local sporting goods store for light weight summer clothing to help you keep cool and bite-free.
You will also want to treat your clothing and other outdoor gear with insecticide to boost protection from pests this summer. Applying permethrin to fabric as directed can keep the bugs away for four to six washings.
You’re inviting mosquitoes into your home
Do you have a tendency to keep your doors open in the summer? While you may be trying to add in some fresh air, you could also be unintentionally inviting mosquitoes into your home. By installing and lowering window and door screens, you can open up your home to the smells and sounds of summer, without the unwanted guests. When traveling to subtropical and tropical regions, a bed net may be essential to add to your packing list.
You’re turning off the fans
You may be tempted to turn off the fans during a picnic to avoid blowing your decorations, napkins, and dinnerware away. However, fans can do more than keep you cool in the summer; they can also work as an effective insect-repellent. Dr. Stephen Gluckman, MD, of Penn Travel Medicine explains, “Mosquitoes don’t have strong enough wing strength to fly in that environment and it’s a very effective way to decrease the chance of getting bitten.”
You’re spending too much time near the water
Many of us love to spend time near the water during these hot days of summer. While spending time in the pool or by the ocean may seem fine, you still need to be mindful of freestanding water as they are a prime spot for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Breeding grounds may include:
- Pool covers
- Old tires
- Trash cans
- Roof gutters
- Drain pipes
- Bird baths
Try to empty, cover, or clean these water-collecting surfaces frequently to decrease the number of mosquitoes squatting in your yard.
Nix the bad bug habits and you’ll minimize your exposure to mosquitoes while making you less bite-worthy to the blood-sucking little creatures. However, it is still important to be mindful of your surroundings and keep on the lookout for mosquitoes. You’ll want to especially keep a keen eye out for those that don white-stripes on their limbs. These treacherous breeds tend to be active during daylight and are infamous for carrying harmful, and sometimes deadly, diseases. If you spot them, take extra precautions to ward off these intrusive pests.
How to Treat Mosquito Bites
If you do get bitten this summer, most mosquito bites will result in swelling and red or reddish-brown bumps that appear anywhere from a few minutes to a day or two after the biting occurs. While these bites may be itchy and irritating, they usually go away within a week and aren’t a serious cause of concern. However, if you notice excessive swelling or develop a low-grade fever, hives, and/or swollen lymph nodes after being bitten, seek medical attention as soon as possible – it could be a sign of a more serious disease or illness.