Do you live in or are you traveling to areas that have a high prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases? If so, it is crucial to take extra caution to protect yourself and your loved ones. Mosquitoes cause diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, and dengue fever—all which can be life-threatening. Even if you live in a relatively safer zone, you can use some of these tips to reduce your chances of catching an infection. Below are the ways you can protect yourself from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.
- Spay your yard
Spraying your yard is one of the best ways to practice mosquito control. Yard spraying is serious business, so you need a professional to do it for you to avoid possible exposure to harmful chemicals. These toxins can harm your children, pets, natural plants, and harmless insects. If you are inexperienced, you may also waste the spray by doing it the wrong way. A pro will also identify hidden areas in your compound which can be possible mosquito breeding spots.
If you are entertaining guests outdoors, spray the area at least 24 hours before you use it. If the party or get-together will go late into the night, use repelling candles and lanterns. You can hang them up or place them on a flat surface. Place them strategically to cover most of the area. Look for candles which contain geraniol, the most effective ingredient at repelling mosquitoes.
- Drain away stagnant water
There should be no standing water in your compound. Check for water contained in idle toys, plates, cans, buckets, flowerpots, and small holes on the ground. Chlorinate your swimming pool to repel mosquitoes.
- Invest in natural repellants
There are plants which produce chemicals that ward off mosquitoes. Some essential oils also help in repelling mosquitoes. Examples of mosquito-repelling plants which you can plant in your garden or near your house include peppermint, basil, thyme, and catnip. Some examples of essential oils known to be effective against mosquitoes are eucalyptus, clove, and lemongrass.
- Apply a repellant or put on a spray
Sprays or repellants which contain DEET are safe for both adults and kids. Other options include picaridin, oil of lemon, and eucalyptus. You may need to reapply these repellants regularly as per the specifications to keep them active.
- Protect yourself with the correct dress code
Mosquitoes love dark colors such as black and navy. Avoid these as much as possible and invest in light-colored and lightweight clothes which cover most of your skin. These include caps, tops with sleeves, and trousers. Mosquitoes also bite down on your feet, so you should protect your feet by wearing high socks and high-top sneakers.
Staying indoors as much as possible may also keep you from mosquito bites. Most mosquitoes bite at dawn and dusk, but the ones thought to carry Zika will attack you during daylight hours. Repair any broken doors and windows so that you can keep these insects from entering your house.