How-to Avoid Mosquito Bites
Ah, mosquitoes. In South Carolina, mosquitoes are one of those inevitabilities of life. Anytime you’re outside during the summer months, you ought to be prepared for an encounter with a mosquito. So what exactly can you do to minimize your dealings with those pesky swamp angels?
1. Use repellent.
This one probably seems pretty obvious, but truly: repellent is your best friends. Its sole purpose is to repel insects, so use it as it’s intended. Look for products that contain DEET—it’s claimed that this ingredient is the most effective repellent for mosquitoes. Be sure to apply before leaving the house, especially if you’re going out at dusk, and reapply if necessary.
2. Blow them away!
Any breeze is going to make it extremely difficult for mosquitoes to fly. Choosing to hold a family outing on a breezy day will help to deter mosquitoes, but plug-in fans work, too! Just be sure to put them closer to the ground—mosquitoes tend to fly low to avoid the wind, so having your fans on the ground will be the best placement to stop an onslaught of mosquitoes.
3. Wear long sleeves and pants...yes, even in summer.
While probably not the most ideal solution, a very effective way to stop mosquitoes from biting your skin is to cover it. Loose, long sleeved shirts and pants will at least make it harder for mosquitoes to make a feast of your blood.
4. Avoid their favorite hangouts.
Mosquitoes like hot, tropical climates, preferably wet ones at that. Avoid places where mosquitoes are likely to frequent - the lake, the marshes, or your yard after a good rain. If you’re noticing an onslaught of mosquitoes, be sure to check the CDC for the risk of diseases in your area. This also applies if you’re planning to travel abroad—be sure to check for any advisories in the area and plan accordingly.
5. Wear tightly-woven fabrics.
Cotton and linen fibers tend to be pretty loosely knit. That’s why you might find yourself with mosquito bites, even if you wore a sheer cover. Go for more complex fibers, like synthetics. You can typically find more tightly-knit fabrics in athletic apparel. Mosquitoes can’t penetrate the more complex fabrics, so wearing synthetics will prohibit them from biting you.
6. Remove standing water from your property.
Don’t make it easier for them to breed! Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The first stages of their lives are spent in water, up until they become adults, at which point the females lay their eggs in standing water. Any buckets, puddles, tires, or clogged gutters need to be dumped and cleaned out.
7. Wear light colors.
It’s a well-known fact that mosquitoes like dark colors. Considering they prefer to hunt at dusk, dark colors show up better against the backdrop of the horizon. Wear light colors to deter mosquitoes, but beware of bright colors. Brighter hues have been known to attract and instigate stinging insects like wasps. Stick to simple things, like neutrals or pastels.
8. Avoid peak business hours.
Mosquitoes tend to be more active at dusk and dawn; the air is often cooler and less windy, which makes conditions more favorable for mosquitoes. A simple way to avoid mosquitoes is to plan your outdoor time around when mosquitoes are less active.
9. Use an insect screen/nets.
It gets hot in the summer, and we like to sleep with our windows down. The problem with this is that it invites mosquitoes into your home, and you end up waking up covered in mosquito bites. A good way to stop this is to buy an insect net to hang over your bed. The material has fine holes big enough to allow for a breeze, but small enough that insects can’t pass through it. Also be sure that your windows have screens on them.