Natural ways to prevent mosquito bites

Mosquitoes are a constant pest if you are travelling to rainy and humid destinations around the world. Their bites not only itch but they also transmit diseases like malaria, dengue and yellow fever. There are lots of products on sale to combat mosquitoes but there are also natural ways to avoid their bites.

Wear simple clothing

To avoid bites from mosquitoes and other insects, it is advisable to wear light clothing and simple outfits like trousers, long-sleeved shirts and socks. Also, avoid using brightly coloured clothes or outfits with patterns. You should also think again before applying a dash of perfume as mosquitoes are particularly attracted to their scent.

Use plants and herbs

Plants and herbs such as eucalyptus, lemon balm, basil, mint, wormwood, lavender, rosemary and thyme repel mosquitoes and other insects, as well as providing the place where you are staying with a nice aroma. You should place them in strategic places such as doors, windows and garden areas.

Eat foods with lemon and garlic

The smell of both lemon and garlic repels mosquitoes, although the effectiveness of this technique is not guaranteed. It has been shown that insects attack people with these odours less. This natural repellent is achieved when you sweat after eating lemon or garlic. You could also apply either substance directly to the areas of your body where you sweat most.

Use oils

Applying oils that contain lemon eucalyptus to your body will also help combat mosquitoes. It should be noted that while this remedy is both natural and effective, it has never been officially validated as an insect repellent. You can find this type of product in pharmacies and specialist shops.

Do not leave standing water

The best form of avoiding mosquito bites is to make sure you do not help them spread. Mosquitoes leave their eggs in standing water and that is why you should never leave water to collect in the place where you are staying. You should empty all buckets after use and place any object where rainwater could settle upside down.

Take care in "rush hour"

From dusk till dawn is usually the time when the majority of mosquitoes come out "to eat," especially those species that transmit malaria. For this reason, it is advisable not to go out during this period, however, if you cannot avoid doing so, make sure you use clothes that leave you well covered up.

Use mosquito nets

A good solution is to place mosquito nets across doors and windows. If you are planning to live in a hot country, then it may be a good idea to buy meshed screens for your windows and doors and this way you allow cool air to enter while keeping insects out.

Other alternatives

There are chemical repellents and traps that are very effective in stopping mosquito bites. The disadvantage of these products is they can be harmful to our health, especially for children and pets. If you are going to use a chemical repellent on your skin, make sure you do not apply it to your face and also wash it off with soap and water once you are back indoors.

Facts about mosquitoes

Here are some useful facts about mosquitoes: - Only the females bite, the males feed on the nectar of flowers. - There are about 3,500 different species of mosquitoes. - Mosquitoes have caused more human deaths than any other creature. - They do not transmit HIV which causes AIDS. - The females can live for up to 100 days, while the males only survive 20 days.

How to treat a mosquito bite

If the damage has already been done and a mosquito has bitten you, there are various ways to treat the pain. The first thing you should do is wash the affected area with soap and water. Then apply some ice on the bite or rub in other remedies like toothpaste, mud or aspirin mixed with water. Avoid scratching the area and if the bite becomes infected seek medical attention.

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About the Author

Paola Aguilar lives in Guadalaja, Jalisco. She studied for a career in communication science at ITESO and is currently studying for a second degree in marketing. She started her writing career doing small jobs involving redaction and translation for students and now works as a reporter at her college newspaper.