When you think about it, summertime is a pretty rough season for skin. It’s tricky enough to avoid getting burnt to a crisp by the sun, but to avoid getting covered in bug bites too? It’s a lot to keep in mind! But no one wants to spend their summer getting eaten alive by mosquitos. So I thought I’d put together a few simple tips to help us all avoid those painful, itchy bites!
Some of the things in this list may land in the “common sense” category, but I was surprised by a couple of them! So even if you think you know all the tricks for avoiding bug bites, it never hurts to refresh your memory. :-) So here’s to us all remaining bite-free in the coming weeks. (Fingers crossed!)
7 Simple Tips For Avoiding Bug Bites
1. Keep It Breezy
Sitting near a fan is a simple and effective way to keep insects at bay. If the airflow is strong enough, bugs will have trouble navigating through it. And if bugs can’t get near you, they can’t bite you! You can find high-velocity fans that are perfect for patios online, like this one.
2. Say No To Standing Water
Standing water is an open invitation for mosquitos and other pesky insects to invade your yard. Take a walk around your house and check for sources of standing water. Look for puddles, dips in your grass, anything that might hold water. Eliminate standing water to keep insects at bay. (And you don’t have to get rid of your bird bath—just put a water agitator one in it (like this one) to keep the water moving.)
3. Use The Right Ingredients
When buying bug spray, make sure to check the active ingredients list. We all know that DEET is effective against mosquitos, but it’s not the only thing that works! Another effective ingredient is picaridin, which is similar to DEET but feels a bit less greasy. For a more natural option, look for products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus (also called OLE or PMD). The CDC recognizes DEET, picaridin, or OLE as effective active ingredients in insect repellents.
4. Keep Calm & Chill Out
It turns out that some mosquitos are attracted by carbon dioxide (CO2). While we all exhale CO2 all the time, but we put off more of it under certain conditions. For instance, strenuous exercise will make you breath more heavily and increase your production of CO2. So if you find yourself out and about during peak mosquito hours, you can make yourself less of a target by breathing calmly and steadily.
5. Know What Doesn’t Work
When it comes to repelling insects, some products just don’t work. Other products are mildly effective, but are much less effective than most spray repellents. Some of the products that struggle to perform effectively in tests include most wearable repellant products (like ultrasonic devices, etc.), skin patches, supplements, and eating bananas.
6. Dress Properly
Mosquitos can easily bite you through breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. But tightly-woven fabrics can be a more effective barrier against bites. Wearing synthetic fabrics or athletic materials can be better if you want to avoid bites.
Another thing to keep in mind is that mosquitos can be attracted to bright or dark colors, like blue, red, and black. Wear lighter colors like white and khaki to avoid standing out.
7. Avoid Peak Insect Hours
Finally, you can avoid a lot of insect bites simply by staying inside during the peak activity hours of dawn and dusk. These tend to be the least windy times of the day, which means it’s party time for biting bugs.
How do you keep the bugs at bay and avoid bites?