The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the tantalizing smell of burgers and hotdogs on the grill is in the air — ah, it must be summer! Here at The Natural Path Co., we love the warm, sunny season. What we don’t love so much?
Nothing is worse than that relentless buzzing sound in your ear followed by even more annoying itchy bug bites on your skin. Actually, we take that back — when our little ones get chewed up by mosquitoes… now THAT”s the worst.
For us parents, we know firsthand what mosquito bites mean for our kids. Our poor helpless tiny tots simply can’t handle the itch— day or night. Some kiddos get it worse than others, developing a terrible allergic reaction to the bite that causes the area to swell up, often resulting in uncomfortable pain and tears. What’s more, some children even develop a fear of going outside, just to avoid getting bitten.
Growing up is all about experiencing life — and you certainly can’t do that hiding from mosquitoes in your home! That being said, while bug bites might seem like an inevitable part of summer, there are many things you can do to keep the pesky bloodsuckers at bay.
Make sure that you and your little ones can enjoy the great outdoors, spend quality time together, and make unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.
Read on to learn about the best ways to prevent mosquitos.
But First, Let’s Talk A Little Bit About Mosquitos To Understand Why They Like Us So Much, Shall We?
Everyone’s experienced an insanely itchy mosquito bite at some point or another —but if you feel like you’re dealing with a lot more of those painful red welts than those around you, it’s not just in your head.
Yep, it’s true —you’re not crazy as it’s been well documented that some not-so-lucky individuals are more attractive to the creepy crawly winged pests than others.
While the bloodsuckers will nibble on just about any human, it’s only the female mosquitoes that bite people. Why? Because females require nutrients to produce their eggs which they get from — you guessed it — our blood.
To help locate their prey, female mosquitos are fully equipped with special odor receptors that detect carbon dioxide and the delicious scent of humans. They are also big fans of lactic acid, an organic acid that can be produced in your skin when you sweat.
This means that people who are greater emitters of CO2 and those who tend to get hot and sweaty are much more appealing to hungry mosquitoes.
Your blood type may also have something to do with mosquitoes’ obsession with you. There’s quite a bit of evidence that suggests the blood-sucking pests are drawn more to those with Type O blood than those with A or B blood.
In fact, according to one study, researchers found that mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood 83% of the time. Much more research is needed to understand why, but it’s definitely something to think about!
Why Is It So Important To Prevent Mosquitos?
When a pesky mosquito bites you, it inserts the tip of its mouth into your skin and injects an itty-bitty amount of its saliva into your bloodstream.
Your immune system naturally reacts to the insect’s saliva, causing a reaction that can include swelling, redness, itching, and a rash.
If an incredibly itchy bump on your skin or the thought of a bug’s icky saliva being injected directly into your bloodstream isn’t enough to make you want to do everything in your power to prevent mosquitos, then perhaps learning about how they can spread illnesses will.
Believe it or not, some of the world’s most deadly diseases are carried and transmitted by these pesky bloodsuckers. It’s estimated that up to a million people die every single year from mosquito-borne illness, with many countries around the world ravaged by yellow fever, malaria, and dengue-hemorrhagic fever. When we control mosquitoes, we are setting ourselves up for disease control.
For many years, West Nile virus, dog heartworm, and several types of encephalitis have been the primary mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, but more recently, the Zika virus has emerged as a serious threat to human health.
Why is the Zika virus so scary? Because it can easily be passed from an expecting mom to her unborn baby, which can cause certain birth defects. The virus can also be transmitted through sex as well as blood transfusions. And at this time, we have no cure. So, insect repellents are our best bet.
The Best Ways To Combat Mosquitos
Now that you understand why mosquitoes can be so dangerous, let's talk about the best ways to prevent them!
While mosquito bites are mostly just super annoying, they can sometimes spread disease. So with that in mind, here are the best tips to help combat mosquitos:
Tip #1: Get Rid of ALL Standing Water Features
Gutters, kiddie pools, birdbaths, and even rain barrels are all perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Walk around your property at the end of each playday and dump out any standing water, so mosquitos are forced to look elsewhere to lay their eggs.
Tip #2: Dress For Success
One of the best ways to protect your little ones from nasty bug bites is to simply minimize skin exposure. It's also a good idea to dress them in light-colored clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to black and darker colors. Gear you need: Long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks and boots are the name of the game.
Tip #3: Blow Them Away
Plug in a few fans and focus the air where you will be spending the most time. Mosquitoes and breezes don’t mix because it makes it really challenging for them to fly and sense a meal. Plus, it's a great way to beat the summer heat — score!
While you're at it, set up some mosquito netting, especially in tents or anywhere you sleep.
Tip #4: Use BuzzPatch
If you’re like us and can’t stand the chemical-infused spray repellents to combat bugs, you’ll be happy to know that BuzzPatch is made with 100% natural, plant-based ingredients. Plus, it’s non-toxic and DEET-free! (The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not support the use of DEET.) Additionally, while permethrin products are great at combating malaria, you can't put them on your skin.
Oh, you haven’t heard of BuzzPatch? Well, prepare to be amazed!
These kid-protecting, mosquito-fighting, all-natural repellent stickers are not only extremely effective, essentially creating a virtual shield to almost camouflage your kids from the pesky bloodsuckers, but they smell amazing and can last up to six long hours. BuzzPatch uses the most effective but safe essential oil combo designed to confuse mosquitoes and hide your little ones from their senses for itch-free summer days.
Some of the active ingredients include lavender and citronella essential oils.
Tip #5: Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours
Just like you, mosquitos crave a tasty meal during certain times of the day. And for these obnoxious critters, mealtime is often right around dusk and dawn. Why? Because windy weather tends to dissipate as the sun sets and rises, which brings mosquitoes out to nibble. If you can keep your little monsters inside during these prime times when the weather is warm, you will be able to prevent more than a few bug bites.
Tip #6: Try To Stay Cool
Remember how we mentioned a little earlier how mosquitoes are drawn to hot and sweaty individuals? While it can sometimes be much easier said than done, especially in the summertime, one of the best ways to keep the bloodsucking critters away from you is to try to stay cool. Keep yourself properly hydrated with plenty of H2O, wear loose clothing, and avoid direct sunlight to keep the sweating down to a minimum.
Tip #7: Give Your Ticker a Breather
In addition to sweat, mosquitos love CO2. And when your heart rate is raised, your body happens to produce more of it. From drinking booze to working out to noshing on spicy foods, anything that can crank up your metabolic rate will naturally increase your CO2 production. This will make you absolutely irresistible to lusting mosquitoes.
If you’re enjoying the great outdoors and you know your heart rate will be spiking, make sure you limit skin exposure and wear a BuzzPatch Mosquito Repellent Sticker.
Buckets of Pain-Free Fun
Whether you’re trying to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or turning your backyard into a breeding ground, our seven tips listed above can help. Just don’t forget: if you want to keep you and your loved ones bite-free, prevention is key!