Did you know that mosquitos are known to be the world's most deadly animal? They kill around 725,000 people worldwide, each year. The majority of these deaths occur in Africa, but that doesn't mean other countries are safe.
How can I prevent mosquito bites (according to the CDC)?
- Use an insect repellent when you go outdoors. Choose an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. They are evaluated to make sure they are safe and effective. Make sure that the repellant has one of these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. It is important to follow the instructions on the label.
- Cover up. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin fabric, so spray thin clothes with an EPA-registered repellent like permethrin. Don't apply permethrin directly to skin.
- Mosquito-proof your home. Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. Use air conditioning if you have it.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites. Regularly empty standing water from around your house and yard. The water could be in flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, or birdbaths.
- If you plan to travel, get information about the areas you will be going to. Find out whether there is a risk of diseases from mosquitoes, and if so, whether there is a vaccine or medicine to prevent those diseases. See a health care provider familiar with travel medicine, ideally 4 to 6 weeks before your trip.
If you choose to use a natural mosquito repellent, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says that children under three years of age should not use products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus. Also, avoid putting repellent on young children's hands, and have them bathe as soon as they are no longer outside.
Don't let mosquitos ruin your summer!