30 Tips for Avoiding Mosquitos from 30 Tips for Avoiding Mosquitos

30 Tips for Avoiding Mosquitos

30 Tips for Avoiding Mosquitos

Mosquitoes bites can be an itchy nuisance, but they can also spread diseases like the Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria and more. It's important to take the neccesary steps to avoid mosquitoes for your own comfort and health.

Eliminate mosquito hotspots

Eliminate mosquito hotspots

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Standing water can attract breeding mosquitos. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests clearing out outdoor buckets and gutters and regularly cleaning fountains, bird baths and pools.

Wear long sleeves

Wear long sleeves

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Wear long sleeves and pants when mosquitos are around. Tucking in your shirt can also prevent gaps where mosquitoes can get in.

Keep mosquitos outdoors

Keep mosquitos outdoors

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Make sure that window and door screens are in good condition, and keep windows closed when possible.

Wear light colored clothing

Wear light colored clothing

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Mosquitoes are less attracted to light colored clothing, according to the EPA.

Cover your head

Cover your head

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Wear a bug net over your head if you are going somewhere with a lot of mosquitoes such as a marsh.

Use yellow lights

Use yellow lights

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Replace outdoor light bulbs with yellow bug lights, which attract fewer bugs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Use insect repellent

Use insect repellent

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The EPA keeps a list of products that are proven to be effective.

Sunscreen first

Sunscreen first

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If you are using sunscreen and insect repellent, make sure to apply the sunscreen first.

No bug spray for babies

No bug spray for babies

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Make sure not to apply bug spray on children younger than two months. If they need to be outside when there are bugs out, dress them in long sleeves and put a bug net over their stroller or carrier.

No lemon eucalyptus for toddlers

No lemon eucalyptus for toddlers

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Do not use oil of lemon eucalyptus insect repellent on children younger than 3 years old.

No spray on children's hands

No spray on children's hands

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Do not apply insect repellent to children’s hands. They could end up wiping it on their face.

Careful with the spray

Careful with the spray

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Do not spray repellent on your face, and use sparingly around your ears. Avoid cuts or irritated skin, and don’t spray in an enclosed area or near good.

Wash spray off

Wash spray off

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Once you go indoors, was insect repellent off with soap and water.

Don’t be afraid of DEET

Don’t be afraid of DEET

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DEET is a chemical used in many insect repellents and, according to a 2014 review by the EPA, there are no known health risks of human exposure to DEET.

Clean bitten areas

Clean bitten areas

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Clean mosquitos bites with rubbing alcohol to relieve itching, according to AARP.

Apply honey

Apply honey

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Apply honey on bites in order to reduce swelling and prevent infection, according to AARP.

Avoid some home remedies

Avoid some home remedies

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Avoid applying baking soda, lemon or lime juice, toothpaste or vinegar to a bite, says AARP.

Seek medical attention

Seek medical attention

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See a doctor if a mosquito bite causes you to break out in hives or have difficulty breathing.

Seek out approved active ingredients

Seek out approved active ingredients

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The EPA has a list of active ingredients found in EPA-registered insects repellents. They are: catnip oil, oil of citronella, DEET, IR 3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin and 2-undecanone.

Just on exposed skin

Just on exposed skin

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Don’t spray insect repellent under clothing.

Buying insect repellent

Buying insect repellent

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You may be able to use a health savings account to buy insect repellent if, and only if, it is part of a sunscreen that would otherwise be eligible.

Cool compress

Cool compress

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Applying a cold pack or a cloth dampened with cold water to the bite might relieve some itching, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Watch out for ticks

Watch out for ticks

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Mosquitos can spread dangerous diseases, but so can ticks. When traveling in wooded areas, use insect repellant with at least 20% active ingredient and check your body and clothes for ticks, especially around your hair, ear, underarms and legs. 

Don’t rely on candles, torches or coils

Don’t rely on candles, torches or coils

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Products like citronella candles are not as effective at repelling insects as products applied to skin, and are only effective at all when there is very little wind, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Use less spray but cover more areas

Use less spray but cover more areas

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Using more bug spray on one spot does not increase the effect, while missing a spot can cause problems. Mosquitos can find a spot not covered by insect repellent the size of a dime, according to the  American Mosquito Control Association.

Reapply as necessary

Reapply as necessary

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According to the American Mosquito Control Association, a 10% DEET product will last about 90 minutes, while a 30% product can last up to five to six hours. A 100% product can last for 10 hours.

Reconsider buying that bug zapper

Reconsider buying that bug zapper

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Studies show no significant difference in the number of mosquitos in yards of homes with bug zappers. These products also kill plenty of insects that are harmless, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Don’t buy a sonic bug repellent

Don’t buy a sonic bug repellent

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Sonic devices have been found to be totally ineffective according to at least 10 studies, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Use repellent while pregnant

Use repellent while pregnant

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Always check the label, but the CDC says it is safe to use EPA-registered repellents even while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Consider canceling travel if pregnant

Consider canceling travel if pregnant

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Check the CDC’s website on areas at risk of Zika virus if you are pregnant or considering pregnancy. No insect repellent is 100% effective at preventing mosquito-borne illness

30 Tips for Avoiding Mosquitos