Preventing Mosquito Bites- tips and tricks for Outdoor Activities

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Preventing Mosquito Bites- tips and tricks for Outdoor Activities

As the weather warms up, we all want to spend more time outdoors enjoying picnics, camping, hiking, and other fun activities. However, those activities often bring us into contact with mosquitoes that can ruin the experience with their bothersome, itchy bites. In this article we talk about “Preventing Mosquito Bites- tips and tricks for Outdoor Activities”.

Why Mosquito Bites Are A Nuisance

Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, warmth, sweat, perfumes, and dark clothing. When they land on your skin, they insert their proboscis to draw blood for the protein and iron it provides. As they draw blood, they inject saliva under your skin. It’s this saliva that causes the irritating immune system reaction we experience as itchy, red bumps.

In addition to being extremely annoying, mosquito bites can sometimes lead to infections or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Mosquitoes can also transmit dangerous diseases like West Nile, Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria. So preventing those bites is about more than just comfort – it’s also about health and safety.

Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites During Outdoor Activities

The key to preventing mosquito bites is using multiple lines of defense. Here are some of the most effective methods you can deploy anytime you’ll be spending extended time outdoors:

  1. Cover up
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants when possible. Mosquitoes have a harder time biting through multiple layers of clothing.
  • Treat clothes with the insect repellent permethrin for lasting protection through multiple washes.
  • Wear socks and closed shoes instead of sandals.
  1. Use a Good Insect Repellent
  • CDC recommends using EPA-registered repellents like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
  • Apply repellent liberally on exposed skin and reapply as directed on the label.
  • Consider wearing repellent clothing infused with permethrin for an added layer of defense.
  1. Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours
  • Be most vigilant about applying repellent at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • In hot summer months, mosquitoes may stay out later into the evening.
  1. Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites
  • Drain any standing water around your home or campsite where mosquitoes breed.
  • Use larvicides to treat larger bodies of water that can’t be drained.
  1. Use Protective Gear
  • Sleep in a properly sealed tent with mosquito netting.
  • Consider wearing a mosquito head net if you’ll be outside at dawn or dusk.
  1. Try Natural Repellents
  • Apply eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, mint, cinnamon or clove oils for some protection.
  • Burn citronella candles outside at dusk.
  • Place garlic cloves, mint leaves or coffee grounds around outdoor eating areas.
  1. Employ Technology
  • Use propane mosquito traps to attract and trap mosquitoes.
  • Wear mosquito repellent wristbands.
  • Install bat houses or purple martin bird houses to let natural mosquito predators do their work.
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What to Do if You Get Bitten

Despite your best efforts, mosquito bites are often unavoidable, especially during extended outdoor exposure. Try the following remedies if you do get bitten:

  • Wash the bite area with soap and water to remove saliva or sweat that could cause further irritation.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, baking soda paste or a cold pack to reduce itching and swelling.
  • Avoid scratching bites as this can lead to infection.
  • Monitor bites for signs of infection like oozing pus, expanding redness, fever or swollen lymph nodes. See a doctor if this occurs.

The Bottom Line

Mosquitoes can put a real damper on camping trips, cookouts, hikes and other outdoor fun. But with some planning and strategic deployment of repellents, protective clothing and other deterrents, you can enjoy the outdoors bite-free! Being proactive about prevention means you won’t have to deal with pain, itching and worries about mosquito-borne illnesses. I sincerely hope you find this “Preventing Mosquito Bites- tips and tricks for Outdoor Activities” article helpful.

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