How to Protect Yourself Against Insect Bites

Are pests driving you mad? Whether you’re in your house or in the great outdoors, being bitten by an unknown bug is no fun. That’s why in this article, we’ve gathered some of the basic things you can do to protect yourself from most insect bites.

You’ll find a slideshow at the end of the article with a summary of the information found in this post.

Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active

The most basic thing you can do to protect yourself against mosquito bites is to avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are the most active. This is in the evenings. Mosquitoes don’t like direct sunlight and prefer shady places. So, their activity increases dramatically when it gets darker out.

In the daytime, avoid areas with standing water like ponds, swamps, and larger puddles. You should also avoid larger bushes, trees, and plants in general since mosquitoes like to hide in these places during sunlight hours.

Protect the indoors and keep the insects out

The first step in protecting your indoor spaces against unwanted insect intruders is to close all your windows and doors. This is especially true at night since, as we said before, mosquitoes are more active at night. Mosquitoes will definitely try to get into your house. The sleeping human body is the easiest treat they can have!

You can use a basic aerosol fogger that will kill any insects it comes in contact with. Some of these aerosols contain substances that might not be good for your skin. Others aren’t recommended for indoor use. Read the instructions on any product you buy carefully before using an aerosol indoors.

Another useful tool that will save you from waking up with itching skin in the morning is a mosquito net, which hangs over your bed. It has small holes that air and light can get through, but that are too small for a mosquito to get through.

mosquito nets

Atiketta Sangasaeng/Shutterstock.com

For it to work, the mosquito net must be wider than your bed to fully cover it from top to bottom. The sides of the net shouldn’t touch your bed. If you sleep close to the side of the bed and your skin touches the net, a mosquito might bite through the net as it’s usually made from thin fabric.

Wear appropriate clothing when outdoors

It’s important to wear proper clothing to protect your skin against mosquito bites. The most important thing here is to wear clothing that covers every part of your body. Make sure to leave spots with bare skin where mosquitoes can – and will – bite.

Useful Information

Mosquitoes can bite through thinner fabrics. So, they will probably be able to bite through your t-shirt without any problems. Avoid tight-fitting items and wear looser clothing, preferably in a light color.

Also, remember to protect those parts of your body that are often left unprotected. These include the back of the neck, ankles, head, and so on. Choose a hat that protects your ears and neck from mosquitoes. Wear longer socks so mosquitoes can’t attack your ankles or feet.

Use insect repellents

Insect repellents repel mosquitoes and other pests from different areas. There are many different types of insect repellents on the market. The most common active ingredients in these are DEET, picaridin, and permethrin. You can apply some of these repellents directly on the skin (like DEET) while you must apply others to clothing (like permethrin).

One thing that they all have in common is that the higher the concentration of the active ingredient, the longer the product will protect you against mosquitoes and other pests. Insect repellents are easy to use and come in many different formats: lotions, sprays, bands, and more. Always remember to read the instructions on each product before using it. For safety, never use more repellent on your skin than allowed by the manufacturer.

DEET

DEET is one of the most commonly used active ingredients in insect repellents. It works by making us much less visible to mosquitoes by masking our scent. You should apply insect repellents containing DEET directly to the skin. Most insect repellents contain up to 50% DEET.

There are still some discussions about whether DEET is harmful to humans, but there is no direct evidence, just some minor cases of skin irritation. The disadvantages of DEET include its greasy feeling, how long it stays on the skin, and its odor, which some people may not like.

deet

An insect repellent that contains DEET

Picaridin

Picaridin is a newer type of insect repellent, used in the same ways as DEET. Like DEET, you can apply picaridin directly to the skin. Picaridin does have some advantages over DEET. For example, it doesn’t leave a greasy feeling on the skin, doesn’t have any specific odor, and doesn’t damage plastic or similar materials. The use of picaridin in insect repellents is growing in popularity. For that reason, more companies are starting to use it in their insect repellents.

Permethrin

Unlike DEET and picaridin, permethrin-based repellents need to be applied to the clothes and not to the skin. This repellent bonds to the clothing and its effect can last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Insect repellents using permethrin as an active ingredient are also quite common. Many companies that produce insect repellent equipment use this active ingredient.

Natural Insect Repellents

Some natural insect repellents can also be applied to the skin. Insect repellents can use many types and blends of plant oil. The most common oils used for this are citronella, lemon eucalyptus, tea tree, and rosemary. None of these oils have proven to be more effective than DEET or other chemical insect repellents, though. But if you don’t like the idea of applying a chemical repellent on your skin, you can try one of these oils to see if they work for you.

citronella

pamas/Shutterstock.com

Reduce the number of mosquitoes around your house

If there are a lot of mosquitoes in your yard and the solutions listed above don’t prove as efficient as you’d like, you’ll have to take more serious steps and go directly to the source of the problem. First, you’ll need to get rid of the places where the mosquitoes live and breed. This includes emptying or putting away items with still water like empty metal cans, clogged rain gutters, and so on. This may help reduce the mosquito problem a bit.

Bondie fogger

For a better effect, you can use a mosquito fogger to eliminate the majority of mosquitoes around your house. These work great in hard-to-reach areas like shrubbery, grass, trees, and ponds. For outdoor areas, a propane fogger is a better solution as it’s going to be cheaper and will produce a denser fog. This will exterminate all of the mosquitoes in the treated areas, ensuring that you have at least a few days without those blood-sucking pests bothering you.

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