Repel mosquitoes and ticks with these tips

Repel mosquitoes and ticks with these tips

It’s summertime and you can’t wait to be outside in the garden, hiking or just sitting out on the patio for a barbeque. But shortly after your time outdoors, you may be descended upon by mosquitoes. And if you’re not careful, you may get several itchy bites all over your arms and legs or possibly a tick lodged in your skin.

Though mosquitoes and ticks are common pests, they can cause a variety of health problems, including infections and diseases such as West Nile disease, Lyme disease and Zika virus. Avoiding mosquito bites and ticks is essential for protecting yourself and your family from these health risks.

Dr. Jūratė Kunickaite, a family medicine physician at Advocate Outpatient Center in Aurora, Ill., provides tips to help you stay safe and avoid bites from mosquitoes and ticks:

  • Wear protective clothing: Wear breathable, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to cover as much of your skin as possible. Light-colored clothes are less attractive to mosquitoes. Tucked-in pants or ones that can cinch around the ankles can prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Use mosquito and tick repellent: Apply insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin to exposed skin and clothing. Follow the instructions on the product label and reapply as needed.
  • Treat your clothing with permethrin: Permethrin is a pesticide that can be applied to clothing to repel ticks. Follow the instructions on the product label and do not apply directly to skin.
  • Avoid peak mosquito hours: Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. If possible, avoid spending time outdoors during these times.
  • Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so eliminate any sources of stagnant water around your home, such as empty flowerpots or buckets.
  • Check for ticks: After spending time outdoors, thoroughly check your body and clothing for ticks. Pay special attention to areas such as the scalp, armpits and groin.

“Following these simple steps can help you prevent mosquito bites,” says Dr. Kunickaite. “Plus, research has also found that mosquitoes may be repelled by certain aromas, like coffee. A cup of coffee a day might keep a few mosquitoes away!”

Most recently, studies have found that coconut may be a scent that deters mosquitoes from ruining your favorite outdoor activities.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in IllinoisLook here if you live in Wisconsin.

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About the Author

Jennifer Benson
Jennifer Benson

Jennifer Benson, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has 10+ years of community development and communication experience for non-profits and has a BA in Architecture from Judson University in Elgin, IL. Outside of work, you can find her planning the next adventure near water or rocks, re-organizing spaces, working on her Master’s in Public Health, caring for her senior citizen cat, keeping to healthy moving and eating disciplines and growing green things wherever she can find room.