5 Ways to Prevent Bug Bites
Mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects can put a damper on summer fun. Prevent bug bites indoors by keeping temperatures cool and using screens on open windows. Do your best to avoid early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active, and always check for ticks after outdoor activities.
Blue, yellow and other vivid colors attract insects, and dark colors such as black and navy are magnets for mosquitoes. Dress in light or neutral colors such as beige and khaki, and wear clothes that fit well and cover the entire body. Tuck pant legs into boots that cover the ankles, wear socks and choose a long-sleeve shirt with buttons or fitted wrist cuffs to minimize the amount of exposed skin. Hats and other accessories can also help keep pesky insects at bay.
Avoid Fragrant Soaps, Scented Beauty Products and Perfumes
Sweet smells attract many insects, especially mosquitoes. Use unscented soaps, shampoos and lotions during warm months or before spending time outdoors, and avoid body sprays, perfumes and aftershaves that invite bugs to bite.
Stay Away From Dense Woods and Standing Water
The warm, moist environment of a dense forest is ideal for ticks and mosquitoes. When you're in the woods, avoid thick areas of shrubs or trees and use other prevention methods to minimize bites. Mosquitoes typically breed near standing water so stay away from puddles, small ponds and similar habitats. At home, remember to empty buckets, children's toys and other items that may hold rain water and attract insects.
Skip the Beer and Soda
Mosquitoes are attracted to the bubbling effects of carbonated beverages such as beer and soft drinks. To prevent insect bites, opt for iced tea, lemonade, wine or cocktails at your next outdoor gathering. When you serve food, do not set things out until you plan to eat, and put everything away as soon as you finish using it.
Use a Repellent
A good insect repellent is often the best defense against bug bites, especially if you plan on spending time in wooded areas. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a product with at least 20 percent DEET. Lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural alternative that offers the same protection, but it must be applied more often than products that contain chemicals.
Bug bite incidents increase significantly during the warm months of summer. People are outside more often and insects such as mosquitoes are busy breeding. Most insect bites cause discomfort, but certain mosquitoes and ticks are capable of spreading multiple diseases. Prevention is the best way to protect yourself and your family.