While most mosquito bites are harmless, save for some occasional itchiness, there is always the chance of a bite causing a disease carried by the insect. The most common diseases and viruses that can be caused by a mosquito bite include EEE, West Nile Virus, WEE, malaria and dengue. The danger with these viruses and diseases is that most people aren't aware of the potential of contracting them until its presence is discovered and announced in their area.
Mosquitos can be active from early summer to late fall, so it's best to take a few precautions in order to be safe. Here are just a few ways in which you can stay mosquito bite free:
Know Your Bug Sprays:
While it is fairly obvious that one of the best ways to keep mosquitos away is by applying bug spray, most people don't fully understand the difference between repellants. As a general rule of thumb, make sure you use a bug spray with at least 30% DEET, which is the main ingredient used to repel mosquitos. Spray the repellant on your legs, arms, and around your neck, while also being careful not to get any in your eyes, nose, ears or mouth.
If you're planning to be outside during dusk or dawn (peak mosquito times) you can also stay safe by wearing long sleeves and pants. Doing so eliminates the need to apply bug spray to those portions of your body. Sleeves act as an extra layer (literally) of defense between your skin and those pesty insects. If you're gardening or doing yard work, wear sneakers or workboats with thick socks to further prevent bites.
Bug-Proof Your Home
There are various precautions you can take with regards to your home and yard. Make sure to regularly cut your grass where mosquitos, ticks, and fleas may be hiding. Mosquitos are known for breeding in wet areas, so be mindful of any standing water close to your home (i.e. recently-watered plants). If you're hosting an outdoor gathering close to dusk, considering purchasing torches and buckets specifically designed to keep insects away.
If you spend a great deal of time outside near dusk or dawn, it's best to shower off upon entering your home. Post-shower: check yourself, pets and children for mosquito bites, fleas and ticks. This is especially important for those whose summer or full-time job requires spending a majority of their time outdoors.
By taking the proper precautions, you can spend more time enjoying your summer while also limiting the chances of contracting a serious disease or virus.