Avoid being outdoors at time when mosquitoes are the most active
The most basic activity you can do to protect yourself against mosquito bites is to avoid staying outdoors at time, when mosquitoes are the most active – in evenings. Mosquitoes do not like direct sunlight and they much better prefer shady places and their activity increases dramatically when it gets darker. At daylight avoid being close to areas with standing water like pounds, swamps and larger paddles, also avoid being next to larger bushes, trees and plants in general as mosquitoes like to hide in these places during daytime.
There is a presentation at the end of the post with summary on information found in this post.
Protect your indoor place
First activities for protecting your indoor places against unwanted insects is closing all your windows and doors especially at night time. Mosquitoes will definitely want to get into your house, and sleeping human body is the easiest treat they can have. You can open windows and doors during daytime as mosquito activity then is smaller, but remember to close all windows and doors before evening hours. Before going to bed check if any mosquitoes are in your room and kill them with a fly swatter, folded magazine, with a bug spray or with your hands.
As previously mentioned you can use a basic aerosol fogger that will kill insects if your spray it directly on the insect. However, some insect killing aerosols contain substances that might not be good for your skin and some aerosols are not recommended for indoor usage. Carefully read the usage instruction before using an aresol in indoor palce.
Another useful thing that will save you from waking up with an itching skin in the morning are mosquito nets. A mosquito net needs to be hang over a bed and has got small holes for air to get trough it but large enough for a mosquito to not be able to fly trough the net. Mosquito net must be wider than your bed to fully cover it from the top to the bottom. Remember that it is not recommended that sides of the net touch your bed, because if you sleep close to the side of the bed and your skin touches the net, a mosquito might bit trough the net as mosquito net is usually made form a thin fabric.
It is important to wear a proper clothing to protect your skin against mosquito bites. The most important thing to note here is simple – wear a clothing that cover every part of your body and there aren’t any spots with bare skin where mosquitoes will bite. However, it is actually not that simple because mosquitoes are able to bite trough thinner sheets of fabric, and will probably bite trough your t-shirt without any problems. So you must avoid tight fitting clothes and wear loose clothes, preferably in light color. Also remember to protect those parts of your body that are often left unprotected. These include back of the neck, ankles, palm tops, head and other. Wear a hat that protects your ears and neck from mosquitoes. Also wear longer socks so mosquitoes do not attack your ankles and feet.
Mosquito repellents are used to repel mosquitoes form different areas processed with a repellent liquid. There are different types of mosquito repellents and the most common ones are DEET, Picaridin and Permethrin. Some of these repellents can be used directly on unexposed skin (like DEET) while others needs to applied to clothing (like Permethrin). One thing that they all have in common is that higher concentration of active ingredient will be used, the longer it will protect you against mosquitoes. Mosquito repellents are easy to use and usually comes in an aerosol can. However always remember to read the usage instruction of each mosquito repellent and don’t use more repellent on your skin than allowed by the manufacturer.
DEET is one of the most commonly used active ingredients in insect repellents. DEET makes our skin much less visible for mosquitoes. Insect repellents containing DEET needs to be applied directly to skin. Most insect repellents contain up to 50% DEET. There are still some open discussions whether DEET can harm human health, but there are not any direct evidence rather than some minor cases of itching skin. The disadvantage of DEET is that it is greasy and resides on the skin for longer time and it has a specific odor that some people may not like.
Picaridin is newer type of mosquito repellent, which is used in same applications as DEET. Picaridin, same as DEET can be applied directly to the skin. However, Picaridin has some advantages over DEET, for example it does not leave a greasy oil on the skin, and it does not have a specific odor and doesn’t damage plastic and similar materials. The popularity of Picaridin as an active ingredient in insect repellent is becoming larger and more companies are starting to use it in their insect repellents.
In opposite to DEET and Picaridin, Permethrin based repellent needs to be applied to clothes and not on skin. This repellent bonds to the clothing material and its effect can last from couple of weeks to even couple of months. Insect repellents with Permethrin as active ingredient are also quite common and used by many companies producing insect repellent equipments.
Natural insect repellents
There are also some natural insect repellents that can be applied to the skin. The most common ones are citronella oil, oil of lemon eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary oil and others. There are numerous types of plant oils that can be used to make an insect repellent, however, none of these oils have proven to be more effective than DEET or other chemical insect repellents, however, if you do not like the idea of spraying a DEET or other type of repellent with chemicals on your skin, you can try one of these oils to see if they are useful for you.
Reducing the number of mosquitoes around your house
If mosquito problem in your area is large and everything listed on top does not prove to be as efficient as you like, you must take more serious steps and go directly to the source of insect problem.
First of all you need to get rid of the places where mosquitoes are living. It may help to reduce the mosquito problem a bit.
For better effect you can use a mosquito fogger to eliminate the majority of mosquitoes around your house in such areas as shrubbery, grass, trees, ponds, areas with still water like empty metal cans, clogged rain drainers and other places.For outdoor areas, a propane fogger is going to be a better solution as it is going to be cheaper and will produce more dense fog that will terminate mosquitoes in fogged areas and will ensure that you get at least few days free of those blood sucking insects.