How to Prevent Mosquitoes From Biting

Prevent Mosquitoes From Biting
Prevent Mosquitoes From Biting (Image: Creative Commons License, by: 21win, copyright: September 2008)

Mosquito bites are accompanied with discomforting itchiness that can irritate and infect your skin. They also are capable of carrying deadly diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, West Nile virus and encephalitis. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, you have to apply methods to help repel them.

Things You'll Need

  • Insect repellents containing DEET
  • Permethrin
  • Light-colored clothing
  • Vitamin B1
  • Garlic
  • Mosquito-repelling plants

Apply mosquito repellent on your skin. Insect repellents containing DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) are considered to be the most common agents used to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. The application of DEET on the skin should be properly monitored because high concentrations of this agent can cause toxicity. The recommended amount of DEET on adult skin is 30 percent to 35 percent; the amount considered safe for children's skin is no greater than 6 percent to 10 percent. When you apply DEET on your skin, make sure to evenly spread it all over the area to ensure total protection against mosquito bites.

Use permethrin to repel mosquitoes. This potent insect repellent is recommended for use on clothing, socks, shoes, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, blankets and other camping gear. It also protects against deer flies, ticks, fleas and other biting insects. This should never be applied on the skin.

Go for light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to colors that are of the same shade as nectar and flesh. So avoid wearing dark-colored clothing and those with bright, flowery prints when going outdoors. Wear light-colored clothing that covers most of your body, including your neck area and face.

Try to keep yourself odorless when going outdoors. Mosquitoes are attracted to some strong odor on the body, which is why they choose particular individuals among all others in the crowd. So when you have outdoor plans, it's advisable to avoid wearing heavy perfumes and scented lotions. Also, try to avoid strong-scented soaps and shampoos to prevent possible attraction from mosquitoes.

Watch the time and the weather when staying outdoors. Mosquitoes are known to attack individuals during the early time of the evening until early hours of the morning. These attacks get worse during the peak of summer, when the weather is hot and muggy.

Choose your destination when going hiking or camping, especially if you are highly allergic to mosquito bites. You should avoid areas with still waters and avoid going to swampy regions, because these sites are the ideal places for mosquitoes.

Take some B1 vitamins and garlic. Taking 25 to 50 mg of thiamine or vitamin B1 three times a day will help shield your skin against mosquito bites. These types of vitamins evidently make your skin produce a certain kind of odor that is unpleasant to mosquitoes but is undetectable to humans. This natural repellent is recommended for those who are allergic to topical insect repellent sprays or lotions. Eating large quantities of garlic has almost the same effect as taking thiamine. It also enables your skin to produce a certain smell that can be unpleasant to mosquitoes. The only difference is, its odor is detectable to humans.

Place some crushed mosquito-repelling leaves on your clothing and camping gear. Plants such as catnip, rosemary, marigolds, citronella grass and mosquito plants are among the best natural mosquito repellents. You can take some leaves off any of these plants, and crush and rub them on your clothing, backpack and other camping gear. The crushed leaves of these plants can also be mixed with water, which can be used as a natural repellent spray.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not apply DEET on your child's hands. Doing so could cause accidental swallowing of the agent and accidental contact of the agent with the eyes.
  • Make sure to keep any insect repellent away from children and pets.
  • If you are planning to crush leaves of some mosquito-repelling plants, make sure that you are not allergic to any of them before doing so.
  • Application of DEET on the skin may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Symptoms of allergic reactions may include skin itching, blistering, swelling and discoloration. Unusual sensations may also occur, such as burning sensations around the lips, tongue and the whole areas of the mouth.

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