Mosquito Bite Prevention

 Speaking of mosquito control (article elsewhere in this issue) here is a list of alleged mosquito bite preventions that don’t work: 

  • Citronella candles.  (Standing directly in the smoke reduces biting by approximately 40% while dispersed smoke is of no benefit.)
  • Mosquito repellent plant.   (Little if any Citronella is released by a stationary plant; leaves would have to be crushed to release the repellent.)
  • Purple martins. (Mosquitoes are insignificant in their diet.)
  • Bats.  (Bats eat a wide and varied diet of moths, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes and others.)
  • Ultraviolet or black lights “bug zappers.” (More beneficial insects than biting pests are caught.)
  • Sonic devices, including cell phone apps and other electronic mosquito repellents that allege to produce high-pitched sounds that mosquitoes don't like.  See BBC News Magazine, December 10, 2012.
  • Vitamin B, garlic, pepper and other dietary supplements.  (No research evidence of effectiveness.)

What does work?

  • Avoid outdoor activity during peak mosquito activity times: one hour before until one hour after sundown.
  • Wear light color and loose fitting clothing
  • Use personal repellents with a low to moderate concentration of active ingredient.  See the CDC website on repellents.
  • Use repellent sparingly to reduce unnecessary or excessive exposure.
  • Don’t apply repellent near eyes, on lips, or on broken skin
  • Apply to your face by spraying your palm and then spreading the repellent carefully
  • Don’t use near food
  • Wash repellent off with soap and water when it’s no longer needed.

 

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