Wednesday, 25 May 2011

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away


They are puffy, itchy and red. Mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are probably the most annoying thing about the summer months. But guess what? I haven't gotten a mosquito bite in years. An no, I'm not agoraphobic, Here are my tips for repelling mosquitos.

The first thing to realize is that mosquitoes find their targets not only using their sight, but our heat and smell as well. Peak mosquito times are dusk until dawn so, if at all possible, limit your outdoor physical activity during that time. This way, they probably won't notice you from a distance.

Don't use perfumes during summer months. Avoid scented lotion and soaps, too, if you can. Both of those items come in non-scented forms. Sweet smells attract not just mosquitoes but many varieties of bugs, and sweating just makes the smells stronger to them.

It is better to wear light colors during the daytime; dark colors in these hours attracts mosquitoes. Also, studies have been done that say mosquitoes prefer blue and green, so try pink, yellow or orange.

If you're going hiking or going out at night, wear long sleves and pants to create a barrier between you and the bloodsucker.

Mosquitoes are not just attracted to the smell of blood. Their favorites are heat, perspiration, carbon dioxide and lactic acid. All four are released when exercising, so try to exercise inside if you can or at least not during peak mosquito hours. Lactic acid can also be released after eating certain foods, particularly potassium rich foods.

Remember: If you use bug sprays, try to use ones that are DEET free. The active chemical absorbs into skin and could cause rashes or skin irritation. Natural, essential oil versions are available at many stores.

To keep the insect out of your house, you have a few options.

Gardeners plant certain flowers and herbs to keep mosquitoes away; marigolds, rosemary, peppermint, spearmint, daisies, garlic, allspice, cedar, and lemon grass naturally repel insects.

To keep the bugs from getting in, make sure there are no rips or holes in your window or door screens.

It's true. Mosquitoes love water. Make sure there is no standing water near your house. Culprits can be puddles, old tires, clogged gutters, bird baths, etc.

Keep a fan on. Mosquitoes prefer still air.

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