It’s summer, and that means mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can be itchy, painful, and cosmetically unappealing. And in some cases, mosquitoes can spread disease. But you don’t have to put up with mosquitoes — here are some tips to help avoid mosquito bites.
If possible, try to avoid going outside between dusk and dawn. This is prime time for mosquito activity. If you have to go outside, wear long sleeves and pants so that less skin is exposed. You can also repel mosquitoes with an insect repellant containing DEET. Make sure you follow the instructions on the container; using excessive insect repellant can be hazardous to your health. Some people like to burn citronella candles if they’re spending time outside in the evening, although the results can be mixed.
Avoid leaving standing water around your home. Birdbaths, kiddie pools, water bowls for pets, flower pots, children’s toys, and old tires can hold water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Discard old tires and broken toys; change the water in your pets bowls, pools, and birdbaths regularly; and dump any standing water out of flower pots after it rains. A rain storm is also a great time to verify that your gutters are draining properly. Clogged gutters can create standing water… and mosquitoes.
Make sure that any screens in your windows and doors are intact. If they’re missing or damaged, replace them. That way, you won’t have to choose between getting bitten by mosquitoes or letting the summer breeze blow through your house.