How To Keep Mosquitoes Away
Why didn’t Noah just swat those two mosquitos on the ark?!?!
I don’t know anyone who likes mosquitos. I’m sure they have their place in the ecosystem, but we all just want that place to be somewhere where we aren’t. Right?
Only females drink blood, and it’s not for food—it’s to help them develop eggs. (Both males and females survive off nectar). They do have clear preferences for certain people: their favorite blood type is O, followed by B. Type A people are apparently too stressed to be appealing. Mosquitos are attracted to heat, movement, cholesterol, uric acid and lactic acid and CO2. So type O, sweaty, heavy breathing beer drinkers are their faves. Oh, and pregnant women. Mostly, it’s genetics dictating if mosquitos love you or not, so don’t sweat it (ha ha!)—there’s not much you can do.
Aside from being annoying and irritating, we all know that mosquitos can carry diseases, such as Malaria, West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever. Zika has been in the news quite a bit. Fortunately, it seems to be on the downswing now for new cases, but at some point it is likely to make a comeback. And old cases can carry lingering neurological effects. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable as the virus can cause serious neurological birth defects. Additionally, dogs are vulnerable to heartworm, which is spread by mosquitos.
So….what can we do to protect ourselves?
The first and most important thing is to prevent breeding. Mosquito larvae require standing water, but it’s such a small amount! Half an inch depth is more than enough. So please be vigilant about checking everything around your yard (buckets, watering cans, wheelbarrows, barrels, flowerpot saucers, toys—like an upside down Frisbee!) Even a clogged gutter or low area of the yard can hold enough water long enough for mosquitos to breed. Fountains can also be a breeding area. (Pour a little bleach in at least once a week to kill larvae).
But of course, that won’t be enough. There will still be mosquitos. So in order to protect yourself, wear light colored clothing–long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks. Keep covered as much as possible. On top of that, use repellents. DEET works best, picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oil also work well. Additionally, some clothing has repellent added to it. There are some homemade remedies that are more natural, if you are concerned about chemicals. But they have varying degrees of effectiveness. Keep trying until you find the one that works for you. Keep your screens in good repair and use mosquito nets where necessary. You can also have your yard treated every three weeks or so with a barrier spray. Most companies that offer this service also offer an all-natural treatment as well, if that’s a concern for you.
Mosquitos are an unfortunate fact of life. But regularly taking a few steps will help keep you bite-free!
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