Everyone looks forward to summer: barbecues, time out on the lake, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. However, no one looks forward to the swarms of mosquitoes that cause itchy bites. Of the 150 species of this pest, over a third of them live in the Carolinas. Males won't bite you – unlike the females that need blood to help them lay their eggs, they only go after the nectar. When a female mosquito bites you, it injects saliva into the bite and that is what causes the itching. It also causes your blood to stop clotting so the mosquito can eat.
Knowing how to prevent mosquitoes goes a long way in protecting you from itchy bites and possible viruses. To prevent mosquitoes from biting you, be sure to use mosquito repellent with one of these chemicals in it:
Be sure to follow the instructions on the can of mosquito repellent. Some chemicals are made to use on your clothing, not your skin.
According to One Medical, mosquitoes like people with Type O blood, and those who emit more carbon dioxide. If you are working outside – and sweating – you are also more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes because of the bacteria on your body.
Wearing light-colored clothing also helps to keep mosquitoes away. If it's tolerable enough, wear long sleeves and pants in the early evening and after dusk. This is the time when mosquitoes are most active.
Don't waste your money on ultrasonic devices and bug zappers – they don't work for mosquitoes. Citronella does work as long as the wind isn't blowing the active ingredients away.
You can relieve the itching by putting an icepack on the bite, using an oral antihistamine, or covering the bite with a topical cortisone cream.
You can significantly reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes by cleaning up your yard. Mosquito prevention for the yard includes several steps. Remove any standing water, including birdbaths, flowerpots that have even just a little bit of water in them, old tires, and other items that hold water. If you must have a birdbath, you can use mosquito dunks in them. They are safe for the environment, honey bees, pets, and children.
Keeping the grass mowed, and keeping shrubs away from the house and the barbecue area also help to keep mosquitoes away from you. Using a fan aimed at the lower half of your body could also help. Mosquitoes don't like the wind, so they'll fly lower to avoid it. Directing a fan puts the "wind" at their flight level, especially when there might already be a breeze. Mosquito traps could also help.
You can also take all of these measures and, if the mosquito problem doesn't seem to get better, you can have a professional spray the yard area for mosquitoes and other pests.
It would be best if you did everything you can to prevent mosquito bites. They can carry diseases, such as the Zika virus, the West Nile Virus, malaria, and chikungunya. If you can reduce the chances of being bitten by a mosquito, you also reduce the chances of contracting mosquito-borne diseases.
If you cannot get rid of the mosquitoes in your yard even after taking the above mosquito control steps, contact Clint Miller Exterminating, a mosquito exterminator, to come out and spray for mosquitoes and other pests.