When a mosquito bites you, it pierces the skin using a special mouthpart to suck up blood. As the mosquito is feeding, it injects saliva into your skin. Your body reacts to the saliva resulting in a bump and itching. However, in this article we will be considering 5 Ways To Prevent Mosquitoes From Biting You.
Mosquito bites are small, raised bumps on the skin that come from a female mosquito feeding on human blood. Mosquitoes are small, flying insects known as vectors (living things that carry diseases between animals and humans). Vectors often carry infections through blood.
What types of diseases can be spread by mosquito bites?
- Chikungunya: Found in Africa, North and South America, Asia, Europe and the Indian subcontinent, chikungunya is a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of this virus include fever, joint and muscle pain, headache, nausea, tiredness and a rash.
- Zika: Found in Africa, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific region, Zika is a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito. Once a person is infected, the virus can be transmitted from person to person through sex. Zika symptoms include a mild fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, a skin rash and irritated eyes. If a pregnant person is infected with Zika, the virus can impact the developing fetus.
- Dengue: Found in Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe, dengue is a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of dengue are similar to the flu. Other symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain and nausea.
- West Nile virus: Found in Africa, North America, West Asia, Europe and the Middle East, West Nile virus is transmitted by the Culex mosquito. West Nile virus can be fatal. Symptoms of the most severe version of the virus can include headache, fever, a stiff neck, confusion, coma, convulsions and weakness of the muscles.
- Malaria: Found in sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is a virus transmitted by the anopheles mosquito. Symptoms of malaria can include fever, headache and vomiting. Malaria can be fatal.
- Yellow fever: Found in Africa and Latin America, yellow fever is a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of yellow fever can include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, lack of appetite and vomiting. Yellow fever can be fatal.
5 Ways To Prevent Mosquitoes From Biting You
1. Use insect repellent
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
Tips for babies and children
- Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
- Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
- When using insect repellent on your child:
- Always follow label instructions.
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
- Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.
- Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
2. Treat clothing and gear
- Use 0.5% permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
- Permethrin is an insecticide that kills or repels mosquitoes.
- Permethrin-treated clothing provides protection after multiple washings.
- Read product information to find out how long the protection will last.
- If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions.
- Do not use permethrin products directly on skin.
- Watch the video, What You Need to Know About Permethrin.
3. Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors
- Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
- Use air conditioning, if available.
- Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water.
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.
- Check for water-holding containers both indoors and outdoors.
4. Use mosquito nets correctly
Mosquito nets can be hung above a bed or crib to protect against mosquito bites. Adults and children should sleep under a mosquito net if air conditioned and screened rooms are not available.
When using a mosquito net:
- Tuck the net under the mattress to keep the mosquitoes out.
- Tuck netting under the crib mattress or select a mosquito net long enough to touch the floor.
- Pull the net tightly to avoid choking hazards for young children. Check label instructions for additional information.
- Hook or tie the sides of the net to other objects if they are sagging in towards the sleeping area.
- Check for holes or tears in the net where mosquitoes can enter.
- DO NOT hang the net near any candles, cigarettes, or open fires, as it can catch on fire.
- DO NOT sleep directly against the net, as mosquitoes can still bite through holes in the net.
5. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Here is self explanatory.