Tips for Reducing Mosquito Bites
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that mosquitos are no fun to have around. Mosquitos are often most active when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning they are around in Mississippi for a large chunk of the year.
To me, there’s nothing more itchy than mosquito bites. On top of that, mosquitos can carry a variety of mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus. If you’re like me, I will do anything I possibly can to avoid being bitten by mosquitos while spending time outdoors! Here are a few easy things you can do to help reduce the odds of being bitten by mosquitos:
- Remove any standing water around your house weekly. Water is an ideal breeding habitat for mosquitos. Get into the habit of emptying and cleaning any pots, bird baths, toys, and other items that can hold water.
- Avoid being outside in the early morning and early evening when mosquitos are most active.
- If you must be outside during those times, wear clothes that will help protect you! Wear long, loose pants and shirts with sleeves if you can.
- Insect repellant is another must! When looking at repellants, make sure it contains an EPA-registered active ingredient. Repellants with DEET as an active ingredient work well. Remember to always read and follow the product label instructions.
You may notice "mosquito plants" at your local garden stores. Most of these plants are citronella geraniums and claim to repel mosquitos. This is too good to be true! Planting these "mosquito plants" in your landscape is not an effective method of repelling mosquitos. Our friends at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension have more information on this myth!
Extension Information sheet 1960, “Integrated Mosquito Management,” offers great advice on how to combat mosquitos in a cost-effective way that reduces the use of pesticides. If you want further information on mosquitos and how to control them, check out Extension Publication 2336, “The Southern House Mosquito and Related Species: Biology and Control.”
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