The warmer weather that comes with spring and summer makes it a perfect time to spend outdoors. However, warmer weather often brings mosquitoes with it, and these pests can quickly ruin your good times.
Have you ever slapped at the bugs while thinking “How do I stop getting bit by mosquitoes?" If so, we have seven tips to help you reduce mosquitoes on your property and the chance of being bitten. Being proactive is key, however if you find yourself being reactive, do not attempt to eliminate potential breeding sites without bite protection.
1. Change Your Clothes
Another way to reduce the risk getting bitten by mosquitoes is to pay attention to the clothing you wear. If mosquitoes can't access your skin, there's less chance of them being able to bite you. Because of this, it's a good idea to dress in loose-fitting clothing that limits the amount of skin you have exposed and doesn't offer a lot of entry access via very open collars or sleeves. In addition, wearing light-colored clothing could make you less attractive to mosquitoes.
2. Use a Mosquito Repellent
To help keep mosquitoes at bay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests using insect repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and that contain one of the following active ingredients:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
When using mosquito repellents, make sure you follow CDC guidance regarding adhering to label instructions and not applying repellent under clothing or sunscreen, as well as their tips for applying repellents to children and babies.
3. Get Rid of Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and near standing water. If you get rid of stagnant water, you reduce the areas mosquitoes have in which to lay eggs. Make sure water isn't pooling in buckets; empty flowerpots, pet water bowls and trash can lids; and consider adding a pump to small fishponds or bird baths to keep the water moving. And don't forget to clean your gutters, as they're often a source of standing water that goes overlooked.
4. Keep Calm & Cool
If you've ever thought “Why do I keep getting bitten by mosquitoes?," it helps to know what attracts mosquitoes to people in the first place. In part, it's the carbon dioxide you release when you exhale. In fact, mosquitoes can pick up on carbon dioxide from about 150 feet away. Mosquitoes are also attracted to several compounds in human sweat. Naturally, if you're staying very active while you're outdoors, you're more likely to sweat and breathe heavily (releasing more carbon dioxide). So it makes sense that the less active you are, the less attractive you may be to mosquitoes.
5. Stir the Air Up
Setting up a few outdoor fans on your deck or patio can also help you avoid being bitten by mosquitoes for a couple of reasons. For starters, mosquitoes aren't strong flyers by nature, so the air from the fans can deter them. In addition, fans can help disperse the carbon dioxide and chemicals in your sweat that draw in mosquitoes, making you less attractive to the insects.
6. Keep Screens in Good Shape
Screened-in porches and patios are another method of helping keep mosquitoes away. (After all, if they can't enter your outdoor zone, they can't bite you!) But screens that don't fit well or have holes and tears in them won't be very effective. Inspect your screens to make sure mosquito entry points are limited, and repair any gaps or holes, so they'll do a better job of keeping mosquitoes from biting you.
7. Call a Mosquito Control Professional
While all the methods above can provide temporary fixes, to keep mosquitoes under control, you need to work with a mosquito control professional, like Terminix®.
Mosquitoes reproduce rapidly and can be difficult to control on your own. A trained Terminix technician will be able to evaluate your situation and collaborate with you to create a mosquito control plan that works for you and everyone in your home.