1. Wear chemical mosquito repellent
Keeping mosquitoes away from your body is the best way to avoid getting bitten. Use insect repellent on uncovered skin surfaces and on your clothing when you’re outdoors, especially during the day. When using sunscreen, apply it before insect repellent.
- Repellents containing 30% to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are the most popular type of repellents, and are recommended for adults and children over 2 months of age and are effective for several hours. Repellents with lower amounts of DEET offer shorter-term protection and must be applied more often.
- Repellents containing up to 15% picaridin, which must be applied often, are available in the US. Picaridin is odorless, has a pleasant feel, and doesn’t plasticize like DEET. Studies have shown it to be as fully repellent to mosquitoes as DEET and can also be applied on infants as young as 2 months.
- Protect infants less than 2 months of age by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit rather using a repellent.
2. Wear loose, full coverage clothing
Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help to protect you from mosquitoes when you’re outdoors. Covering your skin is a key approach to repelling mosquitoes.
- Clothing may also be sprayed with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for greater protection. Do not use permethrin directly on your skin.
- Avoid wearing heavy, dark clothing in warm weather. Mosquitoes are attracted to warm bodies, so staying cool is an effective way to avoid bites. They also appear to like black, blue and red the most.
- Don’t wear scent when outdoors during mosquito season. Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat, but the act of sweating can mask more effective attractors of mosquitoes, such as perfumes.
3. Put out a dish of soapy water
If you’re having an outdoor meal, you can keep mosquitoes away by placing a dish of water with some dish soap in a discreet place nearby. The mosquitoes will be attracted to the water source, and they’ll get trapped in the soap bubbles and drown.
4. Grow some garlic in your yard
Eating garlic daily to repel mosquitoes has not been proven effective in scientific studies, but, some people believe it has an impact when used as a barrier. Since garlic is delicious, it can’t hurt to grow it, but don’t rely on it as the only source of repelling the pests.
- Plant garlic around your house to repel mosquitoes. It can be integrated around your house, on a balcony, etc.
- Garlic powder from your local grocer sprinkled all through your yard may create a mosquito repellent. Sprinkle a little extra thickly around the patio and porch areas. This may protect pets from being bitten if they sleep in that area.
5. Dump or flush out any stagnant
Mosquitoes are often attracted to water, especially standing water. Examples of mosquito breeding grounds include old tires, driveway puddles, clogged gutters, unfiltered fish ponds, empty flowerpots, and any item that can hold water for more than a few days at a time.
- Use a push broom to distribute the water for small puddles on hard surfaces. Use a siphon pump for larger puddles.
- If you’re inundated by mosquitoes due to standing water from street curbs, drainage ditches or other pools you cannot control, call the responsible public authority to explain that you believe the water has become a mosquito breeding source.
- If it is not possible to remove particular water source, place some Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) dunks/granules into the water. BTI is a species of bacteria that functions as a larvicide and will kill mosquito larvae for as long as a month, in addition to being safe and non-toxic to children/pets.
Maintain water features and swimming pools
If you have a koi pond or swimming pool that doesn’t see much use, it may become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor by doing regular maintenance to keep the water fresh and flowing.
- Cut back vegetation from around your pond or other water features.
- If you have a birdbath or another small source of water, change the water frequently or agitate it so mosquitoes won’t lay eggs there.
- Treat your pool with the proper chemicals to make it uninhabitable for mosquitoes.
Asad Khawar, 15 years old.
administrator of Gegapedia and Gegamall.