Ah, the bliss of summer days: sunshine, the sweet scent of flowers, and — the relentless assault of mosquitoes. These tiny, blood-sucking pests can quickly turn a peaceful evening outdoors into an itchy nightmare.
Worse still, mosquitoes can spread diseases to people, including: the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.
But the medical professionals at Medinet Family Care Clinic in Houston, TX, have your back. Read on for their 10 pro tips on keeping pesky mosquitos at bay.
1. Apply repellent correctly
Don't be stingy with the bug spray. Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, concentrating on ankles, feet, neck, ears, arms, and legs. Avoid spraying directly on your face; instead, spray it on your hands and carefully spread it on your face, keeping it away from your eyes and mouth. If you're also using sunscreen, apply it before the repellent. Remember to reapply if you sweat or get wet.
2. Skip the perfume
You may adore perfume or cologne, but so do mosquitoes. They find those scents irresistible. So forgo fragrances, including scented lotions.
3. Stay clean and dry
Mosquitoes are attracted to the substances our bodies release when we sweat, such as lactic acid. So, after engaging in sweaty activities like gardening or exercising, take a shower to wash away those enticing scents.
4. Eliminate standing water
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so drain any standing water on your property—empty containers like birdbaths, flowerpots, water buckets, and garbage cans. Consider spraying insecticide on your garbage cans and keeping the lids tightly closed. By eliminating breeding grounds, you reduce the chances of mosquitoes taking over your space.
5. Keep windows closed or use screens
Don't let mosquitoes invade your home. Keep windows closed or install screens to enjoy a refreshing breeze without inviting bugs inside.
6. Use fans
Mosquitoes are weak fliers and struggle against a stiff breeze. Take advantage of this by placing fans strategically in your outdoor space. The moving air creates an inhospitable environment for mosquitoes.
7. Time your outdoor activities
Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, so plan your outdoor activities accordingly.
8. Use bug zappers or mosquito traps
Use bug zappers or mosquito traps in your outdoor space. These devices attract and capture biting insects using CO2 and UV light. Let the bugs be enamored with the blue glow.
9. Go for light-colored clothing
Opt for light-colored clothing when selecting your summer attire. Surprisingly, certain mosquito species, especially those active during the day, are attracted to darker colors. By sporting light hues, you decrease your visibility to these pesky biters.
10. Sleep Under a Mosquito Net
If you're spending time outdoors or in areas without screened rooms, protect yourself while you sleep by using a mosquito net.
How to treat mosquito bites
If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself with itchy, irritated bites, here are some simple remedies to alleviate discomfort:
- Resist the urge to scratch: Scratching only worsens the itchiness and increases the risk of infection.
- Clean the affected area: Use mild soap and water, then pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Apply a cold compress or an ice pack: This helps numb the area and provides temporary relief.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion: These over-the-counter products contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that can alleviate itching and reduce redness.
For a natural remedy, a dab of aloe vera gel or a paste made from baking soda and water can provide soothing relief. Apply a small amount directly to the bite and leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it.
If the bite becomes particularly bothersome or shows signs of infection, such as increased swelling, pus, or spreading redness, contact Medinet Family Care Clinic today. Call the Houston, Texas office, or use this site to schedule an appointment.