Mosquito Bites? Bite Back.

Are you the kind of person who gets 62 mosquito bites when the person next to you gets none? There are several things you can do to prevent the little blood suckers from getting under your skin.

Are you the kind of person who gets 62 mosquito bites when the person next to you gets none? Well, whether it’s one or 101, there are several things you can do to prevent the little blood suckers from getting under your skin.

You want to keep mosquitoes away because they can carry disease, including West Nile Virus. The West Nile Virus can be a potentially serious disease with symptoms ranging from a headache that goes away on its own, to convulsions, paralysis, vision loss, and even death in extreme cases.

There is a lot of advice you’ve probably heard before: use bug repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, or just stay inside. But one of the best things you can do is get rid of mosquitoes before they are even born.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Look around your home for any potential mosquito nurseries. If you dump out the standing water in bird baths, old tires, or at the bottom of your child’s slide you kill the eggs and larvae of these insects and eliminate their breeding ground.

You can’t stop all of them, of course, so what can you do with the little buggers that are still around? The answers range from chemicals to a good breeze.

DEET Repellent – There’s been a lot of buzz about DEET. This chemical has been tested and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is safe as long as it’s used properly and according to directions. If you need protection for a long amount of time, use products with a higher percentage of DEET.

SumiOne Repellent - SumiOne or metofluthrin, is a relatively new chemical used to repel mosquitoes. It is not applied to the skin or clothing, but instead is placed on paper emanators that are used to protect a person or area. It has been shown to be up to 97% effective in repelling mosquitoes. Commercial clip on devices use this chemical.

Clothing – Don’t stop at protecting your skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that you wear clothing with long pants and long sleeves while outdoors.

Box Fan – Fun Fact: Mosquitoes are terrible flyers. Something as simple as a gentle breeze can keep them away. So, get a box fan and set it up outdoors on a hot summer night. You get the cool breeze and the mosquitoes can’t get to you!

Mosquito netting – Use mosquito netting over infant carriers. You can also use netting to create a “mosquito tent” on your back deck.

Avoid Peak Hours – Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.

So you repelled mosquitoes the best you can, and still were bitten. What now? Treatments such as oral antihistamines and topical lotions can ease the itch from mosquito bites. But if a mosquito bite seems to be associated with more serious symptoms – fever, severe headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting – contact your doctor.

For a few people, little can stop or help the inevitable mosquito bite. Those folks might just have to wait it out … and try not to scratch.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

ZoeB July 10, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Gee...We always hated it when my mom would give up and go inside. She was the bait !!!!!
Jmitch7011 July 13, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Good advice above and sorry you always had to go in. You can spray your yard for mosquitoes. It's very effective. Kills mosquitoes on contact and puts up a preventative barrier that will last up to 3 weeks. Organic options are available. John www.backyardbugpatrol.com
yvonne bachman July 16, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I need suggestions for yard flea control any experts out there?
JD1 July 16, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Treat you're pets, keep,lawn short and spray a commercially available product that is pet safe. Walk your pets elsewhere until lawn is treated. Fleas cant survive without a mammal or avian(bird) host as they feed on the blood. If your pets are carrying them, it's a lost cause. Get them dipped or on front line ASAP.
yvonne bachman July 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM
JD1 have done everything you said except for the dipping. We are down at the Mini park and it is a mini nightmare with all the extra pets that may not be treated. We will go dipping. Thank you
Jill Bracewell July 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Adding Season-All and Garlic powder to their food twice a day will stop the fleas. They can smell the spices coming off the dog, and it works very well to repel them. It will not hurt the dogs either. All you need is about 1/8tsp of each per day...Hope this helps!
Brandie Jefferson July 17, 2012 at 01:33 AM
I wish this advice worked for mosquitos in humans. Particularly after this guacamole I just made. I am a mosquito magnet and currently covered in bites. I've found that I can be wearing jeans and still come home with legs covered in welts. How in the world does that happen??
Jill Bracewell July 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Brandie, Try wearing a dryer sheet in your belt loop. Works like a charm! You can tear them into strips for multiple uses, or use a whole one, whichever works for you. I have also found that Cutter Yard Spray kills all the creepy-crawlies in the yard without hurting kids or animals. I think it is about $9.00 at WalMart. Hope this helps!
Brandie Jefferson July 17, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Jill, I am definitely going to try this as someone just recommended it to me yesterday, as well. Before that, I'd never heard of using dryer sheets. I'm going to give it a try tonight. Thanks!
JD1 July 17, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Sorry - don't bet the farm on dryer sheets: http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/skeeters.asp Eliminate standing water in your yard and rain spouts. They need water to breed. Cover your skin, spray your clothes with DEET and avoid dusk and dawn.
Barbara Wagner July 17, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I always heard Avon "Skin so soft" was a good mosquito repellant. I don't know what is in it but am guessing it would be greener than the chemical based sprays....
Brandie Jefferson July 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Barbara, I just looked at the Snopes link that JD1 posted and, sadly, it says Skin So Soft isn't very effective, either. My grandmother used to swear by it, too! Those DEET sprays just smell so bad! I have a bottle of "Repel," which lists the active ingredient as oil of lemon Eucalyptus. According to a USDA study (http://ow.ly/cimgl): Most natural product-based repellents provided (less than) 3 h protection. Of the nine such repellents we tested, Repel prevented biting by all three mosquito species longer than 7 or 15% deet. (OFF! Is 15 percent DEET) Of course, some people don't like the way Repel smells. Including my boyfriend. I say "Too bad!"
Andrew Metcalf (Editor) July 17, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Also, some of my neighbors have been known to use the 40 percent DEET spray in our woodsy area, it's generally effective. http://www.amazon.com/Repel-94095-Sportsman-40-Percent-0-475-Ounce/dp/B0037TTQX8
Dave July 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Skin so soft definitely works. I've been using it for probably 20 years whenever I'm fishing on the eastern shore. It's really oily, but a small price to pay to not be bitten by mosquitoes.
Jill Bracewell July 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Regardless of what Snopes said, I have found the dryer sheets to be very effective. Run one over your exposed skin, tuck one in your belt loop, and no bugs..Works for me and several people I know...worth giving it a shot, cheap and effective!
Lori Joy July 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I am one who gets tons of bites that swell and last for days. We keep our lawn cut and have applied chemicals to our yard and I spray my skin before going out, I still get bites. I recently found a product that helps called After Bite. You apply it to the bite when you get it and the bite goes away. Works for me!
Sherri July 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Someone just told me to use Listerine to repel mosquitoes. Have not tried it yet though.
Brandie Jefferson July 17, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Joy, I'm the same way (as maybe is obvious by the number of times I've replied on this thread). I've used After Bite, too and it calms the itching. I've also found that plain old ice works well to stop the itching.
Amanda Lauer July 17, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I also get a ton of itchy bites, even with long pants, long sleeves, and Repel. They just move up to my ears and face, and I'm not going around in a ski mask in July! Burt's Bees Res-Q ointment smells great and really helps take away the itch. Their bug repellent is okay, but a bit oily. Be careful not to get it on your clothes. The best way not to get so many bites is to stay out of heavily planted areas and don't go outside at night.
tanisha July 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM
I have 3 dogs and have used Flea Free in their water/food and the spray for the yard for the past 4 yrs and have had , no flea or tick problem it has also kept mosquito population down we are in a wooded area with a stream behind our home. I do not use Frontline or any of that stuff that cause cancer in our pets. http://www.healthyfoodforpets.com/FleaFree.html


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