CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Summer tends to bring many improvements over the colder months, with sunshine and better weather topping that list. Most would agree, however, that mosquitoes are not the best part of the season.
It may seem like there’s no way to get rid of these summer pests, but according to Dan Allan, M.D. of Cleveland Clinic, there are multiple ways to repel them.
“Certain types of clothing are much better than others,” said Dr. Allan. “Lighter clothing actually doesn’t attract them as much as darker clothing. Longer sleeves or pants obviously would be a better barrier than short sleeves.”
Dr. Allan also recommended dumping any standing water that may be lying around. He said buckets and baby pools serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
“Other things would be to apply repellant, usually containing DEET – which is the best kind,” said Dr. Allan.
Keeping mosquitoes at bay is important, because being itchy and miserable aren’t the only consequences of a bite, Dr. Allan said.
“Besides being miserable, if you scratch too much, you could get a secondary infection like cellulitis,” said Dr, Allan. “There are also mosquito-borne illnesses. If you’re traveling, you’re looking at malaria, dengue or yellow fever. Even in the United States, Zika virus is one that’s also gotten in the news lately as well, it’s certainly a risk.”
Dr. Allan said it’s best to avoid areas with high mosquito activity if traveling internationally. A list of mosquito-heavy areas can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Keeping mosquitos out of the home is just as important as keeping them away while outdoors. As long as they’re sealed properly, Dr. Allan said screen doors and screened in porches will do a great job of keeping the bugs outside.
If the porch or deck isn’t screened in, keeping a fan on will also do a sufficient job of repelling them.
“Mosquitos are not very good fliers,” said Dr. Allan. “So if it’s a little windy out, you’re going to be much better off. Or if you’re going be out on your porch, if you have a fan, like an overhead fan or a fan you can run, that can really significantly cut down on the mosquito activity.”