Summer is here again and that means more time outdoors! While you are outside and taking part in activities - like camping and bonfires - it’s important to protect yourself from mosquitos and other insects. Mosquitos have been known to spread diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika, Malaria, and Yellow Fever. These risks are increased if you’re spending time in tropical or foreign destinations.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
There are ways to combat mosquito attacks. Ideally, you want to keep as much skin covered as possible by wearing pants, long sleeves, and socks. Yikes! We know this can be uncomfortable in the heat of the summer, so the best method of defense is to use an effective repellent on exposed skin and clothing. The CDC advises DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and the plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus as repellants. These are the active ingredients in most common insect repellents.
In addition to using insect repellant, it is important to remember to use it during the most frequent time's mosquitoes will attack. The species that carry West Nile virus are prone to activity from sundown to sun-up. When spending time outdoors after dark, it is vital to spray the body completely and surrounding areas to keep the insects away. Be particularly vigilant around wet areas, as the insects delight in damp regions.
Possible Mosquito Bite Symptoms
Your risk of mosquito-carried diseases is reduced if you stay in the United States. So, it is more likely you will deal with a nagging itch. However, you should still be aware of symptoms that could indicate a more serious problem. Symptoms can include:
Consult a physician if any of these symptoms arise.
Treating Mosquito Bites
If you do get bitten, resist the urge to scratch, as that just spreads the inflammation and increases the infected area. Antihistamines, anti-itch gels, and calamine lotion are all options to treat bites.
Don’t get eaten alive this summer! Utilize these prevention tips and closely monitor your bites.