Summer is well and truly upon us...some of you lucky enough to be going abroad for some sun whilst others happy enough to stay in the British sunshine. Whatever you are doing, you may well encounter the dreaded mosquito!
The mosquito may be just a mild irritant whilst mowing the lawn at dusk, or for others it could be a constant problem whenever you step outside.
More seriously, you could be trying to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito which may be carrying a harmful disease such as Malaria, Dengue or Zika
What is a mosquito?
Mosquito is a Spanish
word meaning ‘little fly’, they have tube-like mouth parts that pierce the skin to consume blood. The bite of a bloodsucking female can transmit serious diseases
What attracts mosquitoes to you?
Heat & humidity
Carbon dioxide (the air we expel when we breathe out)
If you wear dark clothing, you are more visible to the insects.
Chemicals within our bodies
How can you reduce the risk of getting bitten without using any repellant?
Wear light colours so you can spot a mosquito about your person and make it more difficult for them to spot you.
Try to avoid going out at dawn & dusk when the mosquito is most active although if you do go out, wear long clothing to cover exposed skin. The areas of your body where blood is closest to the surface, are the most important areas to keep covered.
Avoid being around stagnant water
Sleep under a mosquito net
Use a cool air fan or air conditioning
Some foods you may like to try are said to repel mosquitoes…
Eat a clove or two of garlic a day, starting a few days before your anticipated encounter with mosquitoes
Rubbing raw onion, orange or lemon peel over your skin
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar, drunk three times per day starting a few days before you leave and continued during your trip. Alternatively use a cotton ball to rub the liquid over exposed skin
Dilute 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with approx 1/2 pint water and rub over exposed skin
How do I stop the itching if I get bitten?
Apply aloe to the affected area for instant relief
Applying honey will get rid of any swelling
Applying apple cider vinegar directly to the bite can alleviate the itch
Lemon and/or lime juice works well and will help in the prevention of infection
For instant relief while on the move you can purchase the following:
A bite & sting relief ‘pen' that contains a liquid to be applied directly on to the infected area
This can also come in the form of a spray
Which repellent do I go for?
If you are going to an area where there may be a chance of being bitten by a mosquito carrying a serious disease, I would certainly go for a repellent with a high amount of DEET in such as:
Life systems range of insect repellants containing either 50 or 100% DEET. They can give protection for up to 8 hours and some even longer.
If you are hanging out at home or going camping closer to home, then you may wish to try natural repellents such as:
Lemon eucalyptus oil - Studies show that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for three hours. Not suitable for children under 3 years
Thyme Oil and also throwing thyme leaves onto a camp fire can give 85% protection for 60-90 mins
Cinnamon Oil is not only a repellent although is said to kill off mosquito eggs too
Citronella is a natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes. Made from a mix of herbs, it’s an ingredient in many mosquito repellents. When outdoors, citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection. When the product is formulated correctly it’s said to be as effective as DEET, although the protection is only up to two hours. If the formula isn’t right, citronella can evaporate quickly and leave you unprotected.
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