Whether at home or on vacation pesky mosquito bites can cause misery over the summer months. In addition to unpleasant itching and scratching days after they can also cause some more serious problems, spreading diseases such as Zika. Here we've put together some tops tips on steps you can take to avoid being bitten.
Use insect repellent
One of the first steps to protect yourself against bites and diseases such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika is to use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin), oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD), IR3535, or 2-undecanone.
Look for one of these ingredients on the label, and apply as instructed. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, preferably light-coloured, and apply tick and mosquito-repelling permethrin to other items such as boots, pants, socks and tents. Permethrin-treated clothing and gear is also available to buy and will protect you after multiple washings.
Remember though, always follow the product instructions and do not use permethrin products directly on skin.
Protect yourself indoors
Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or hotel room by closing doors and windows and using air conditioning if available. Try to stay in places with window and door screens and sleep under a mosquito bed net. Like clothing, bed nets can also be treated with permethrin.
Try to control mosquitoes outside
At home, on a weekly basis, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots or trash containers and be aware that mosquitoes lay eggs near water.