Mosquito-Borne Diseases And How To Protect Yourself
May 18, 2017
There was a time when mosquitoes were those irritating pests that ruined a good campfire cookout or a game of volleyball in the backyard. Mosquito bites were just a frustrating consequence of going into the great outdoors. But the outdoors is feeling a lot less great nowadays, especially with the rise in fear surrounding the Zika virus. This mosquito-borne virus with its ability to directly cause microcephaly in unborn children has been declared a public health emergency on a global scale. The Director-General of the World Health Organization calls it an "extraordinary event." There are few places in the world that are out of reach for this life-altering virus. Every area that has Aedes mosquitoes has the potential for an outbreak of this virus. And, unfortunately, Knoxville is home to two Aedes mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
How Do You Protect Yourself From Mosquito-Borne Diseases?
- It is impractical to stay inside all the time, but choosing the right time to go out can reduce your risk of being bitten. Mosquitoes are most active in the morning and the evening when the sun is low in the sky.
- Many say that mosquito repellent is the most effective deterrent for getting mosquito bites, but this is only partly true. It is the most effective deterrent that doesn't make you look foolish. If you are extremely concerned about getting mosquito bites there is clothing created that is resistant to mosquitoes.
- Next to wearing protective clothing or a Hazmat suit, mosquito repellent is the most effective deterrent to mosquito bites. If you don't prefer to put chemicals on your skin, consider spraying the repellent on your clothing or try a natural repellent that uses oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Understanding what attracts mosquitoes can help you reduce bites when you go out. Studies have shown an increase in body temperatures, sweating, carbon dioxide production, and the drinking of alcohol can make someone more of a target to mosquitoes. Mosquitos are also drawn more to people wearing dark colors.
- For fewer bites inside your home, make sure all of your screens are in good working condition.
- For fewer bites in your yard, have a pest control company do routine mosquito reduction. Mosquitoes rarely travel more than 300 yards from their birthsite. Reducing mosquitoes in your yard can make a big difference.
Short from living inside a bubble, there is no way to prevent mosquito bites 100% of the time, but there are ways you can significantly lower the number of bites you get. Please stay protected. If we all work hard to get fewer bites we'll give those mosquitoes less of a chance to find a vector to spread harmful mosquito-borne viruses like Zika.