10 tips for preventing mosquito bites - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

10 tips for preventing mosquito bites

Updated: Aug 2, 2013 03:13 PM
© Robert S Craig / CDC © Robert S Craig / CDC


By Wendy Innes

It's that time of year again. As the temperatures heat up and the humidity soars, mosquitoes come out of the woodwork, or rather the grass, bushes, around collections of stagnant water, and any other places that may be moist. But this doesn't mean that you or your loved ones have to be a mosquito buffet. Follow these simple tips on preventing mosquito bites during the hotter months.

DEET Repellant

DEET is perhaps the gold standard for insect repellants. It is effective on a variety of biting and stinging insects, not just mosquitoes and it is readily available at most grocery, discount and drug stores. DEET, which is short for N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide is a chemical compound that is designed to repel a variety of insects, not actually kill them. Contrary to some internet claims, however, DEET has been repeatedly proven to be completely safe for use on humans, even children, as long as the label instructions are followed. Formulas come in a variety of concentrations, from 4 to 100 percent.

Citronella

Citronella has been the go-to herb of choice for mosquito repellants for decades, and it is still one of the most effective. Typically used in the form of a candle or in oil torches, citronella oil has been shown to be effective at keeping away flying insects. It is thought that the smell is unpleasant to the bugs, but not unpleasant to humans. So for the next outdoor soirée, try lighting a few citronella candles or torches and keep the bugs away while setting the mood.

(For more tips on warding off bug bites and stings, see How To Prevent Bug Bites And Stings.)

Light Colored Clothing

Mosquitoes are attracted to dark areas because this is typically where the moisture required for breeding is present. Wearing light colored clothes can help keep mosquitoes away. Some say that wearing long sleeves or long pants helps as well, but this isn't always the case. Some mosquito species have adapted to be able to bite through clothing, so if someone is going to be outside it's a good idea to use multiple mosquito-busting methods.

Remove All Standing Water

This is a no brainer. Most mosquitoes require standing water to lay their eggs, which means that if you remove the standing water, it's harder for the little suckers to breed. Does this mean people have to get rid of pods in their yard? No, ponds can be stocked with beautiful fish that will eat the eggs. Fountains are typically not a concern since the water isn't still. Swimming pools and spas typically don't provide an ideal environment for mosquitoes so they are not an issue either. However, the dirty, standing water that can collect in a bird bath or a gardening bucket can be an issue.

Unscented Cosmetics

Things like perfumes, hair sprays, deodorants and the like can all attract mosquitoes with their flowery smells. Mosquitoes have very keen smelling abilities, and they will zero in on anyone wearing anything that smells sweet. So when planning to be outside, it's better to opt for unscented cosmetics. If you want to smell good, use option 10 on the list. It smells good on people, but mosquitoes hate it.

Fans

Mosquitoes fly, but if it's too windy, they just blow away, making fans a great option, especially for outdoor parties. They will keep people cool while keeping the little biting nasties away. Heavy duty fans are available at home improvement and discount stores and they can be combined with other options on the list to create a multi-faceted approach to preventing mosquito bites.

Beer Spray

A flat beer when combined with a few other ingredients are said to ward off mosquitoes. While there does seem to be some controversy surrounding this, it can't hurt to give it a try. This homemade remedy combines equal parts flat beer, Epsom salt and antibacterial mouthwash. It can be sprayed in landscaped areas to ward off the little blood suckers. It is definitely a safer alternative to chemical pesticides, especially on edible plants. The one downside? People who are drinking the beer are actually more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes because mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide in the beer (that's what makes it fizz).

(Another interesting fact about beer: It can actually be good for you; in moderation, of course. To learn more, see The Surprising Health Benefits Of Beer.)

Pure Vanilla

Pure vanilla is another of the "old wives' tale" methods for preventing mosquito bites, as scientific research on the subject seems to be lacking, but this doesn't mean that it doesn't work. The consensus is that the clear, pure vanilla extract that is sold in Mexico and along the southern border of the United States is the best, although there is no reason why any other form of pure vanilla extract wouldn't work just as well. Some say to mix it with water and spray it on, while others say to place it at pulse points on the body. Trial and error will determine what works best for each person.

Garlic

Garlic is also touted as a great repeller of mosquitoes, but, again, there isn't much evidence to confirm or deny this claim. Most of the recommendations say that eating a clove per day will ward them off, but it will most likely ward off most people as well. Some also say that rubbing the garlic on the skin, in a fashion similar to the vanilla, will also be effective. One thing is for sure, garlic is great for cardiovascular health, so even if eating extra garlic doesn't ward off mosquitoes, it can certainly help prevent heart disease.

(Looking for more information on preventing heart disease? Be sure to check out 4 Simple Ways To Prevent Heart Disease.)

Skin-So-Soft

This product from Avon has been around for decades and has a number of great uses as a bug repellant. It is useful for repelling many different insects as well as mosquitoes and it smells good too. It also softens skin as the name implies. There is a whole line of Skin-So-Soft products available through Avon, but the original scent seems to be the most effective. The same line does also carry a bug repellant.

Mosquito bites don't have to ruin the summer anymore. Give these tips a try and then get back to enjoying the warm weather and the outdoors.

Sources:

Yahoo

EPA.gov

Huffington Post

 

This article was originally posted on SymptomFind.com

Content provided by:

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:15:05 GMT
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
  • Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:15:13 GMT
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
  • Extreme Workouts

    Extreme Workouts

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:04:23 GMT
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
  • Extreme Skin

    Extreme Skin

    Thursday, July 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-17 21:15:05 GMT
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
  • Extreme Diets

    Extreme Diets

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-16 21:15:07 GMT
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
  • Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-15 21:15:08 GMT
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
  • Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Wednesday, July 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
  • Ankle Replacement

    Ankle Replacement

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-08 21:15:10 GMT
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
  • 3D Knee

    3D Knee

    Monday, July 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-07 21:15:09 GMT
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
  • Breath of Life for Heart Patients

    Breath of Life for Heart Patients

    Thursday, July 3 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-07-03 22:20:13 GMT
    Heart failure, 5.7 million people in the U.S. have it and 55-thousand die from it each year. By definition, it means your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support all your other organs. Now, a simple breath test could make it easier and faster for doctors to diagnose.more>>
    Heart failure, 5.7 million people in the U.S. have it and 55-thousand die from it each year. By definition, it means your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support all your other organs. Now, a simple breath test could make it easier and faster for doctors to diagnose.more>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.