How To Avoid Mosquito Bites and Treating Them In The Southwest
The rain is making its annual trip into the Sun City. Protecting yourself from mosquito bites not only prevents that HORRID itching, but can also lessen your chances of contracting several mosquito-borne illnesses, such as encephalitis, yellow fever, malaria, West Nile virus, dengue, or dreadful Zika virus.
Those buzzing things you hear in your ear at night are attracted to numerous chemical compounds that they can detect from 50 YARDS AWAY! So the MALES are not interested in your blood, but the FEMALES are a different story, thirsting after the iron and the protein in your blood to PRODUCE their eggs.
Mosquitoes are attracted to:
- Bacteria: Trillion microbes reside on your skin and that makes your STANK!
- Chemical compounds: As they choose us for their buffet, mosquitoes zone in on a wide variety of chemicals including ammonia and octenol (present in human breath and sweat) AND carbon dioxide, the more we breath, the more of the pesky visitors you bring.
- Heat and movement: So if you are exercising outside, you're the perfect target-especially if you're short of breath!
It was once believed that those buzzers were attracted to human sweat, but lab coat folks say "Nah!" Instead, its the chemical changes made by bacteria in our sweat. They found out that mosquitoes head towards FOOT ODOR - they will even munch on a pair of stinky socks if you hang them up after wearing them for a few days. SOooo, this means bathe and wear clean clothes and DO NOT wear certain clothes over and over!
Of course, the best way to keep mosquito bites away is to stay inside between dusk and dawn, which is when they are most active. They also take refuge in shrubby areas and near standing H2O. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has an awesome fact sheet of things you can do to precent mosquito breeding on your property. Their "Three Ds" of protection are the following:
- Drain- Mosquitoes need water where they breed, so carefully drain all and any sources of standing aqua around your house and yard, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires, bird bats, etc.
- Dress- Sport light colored, loose fitting clothing-long sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, and socks.
- Drefend- While the AMCA recommends using commercial repellents, some Doc's recommend some natural alternatives instead.
Good thing, there are great effective repellents that have natural botanical oils and extracts, try these:
- Cinnamon leaf oil
- Clear vanilla oil 14 mixed with olive oil
- Wash your skin with citronella soap
- Catnip oil
- Lemon eucalyptus
Hope this helps, let me know how this works for ya! Now let's see the kick the booty on these horrid things!