Sunday, June 28, 2015

Top Ten ways to avoid mosquito bites

By +Tina Cruris

Summer is here and so is the Minnesota state bird. For anybody who lives near still water during a humid and hot summer, you will understand how much of a pain the average everyday mosquito can be. I have researched tirelessly to find the top 10 ways to avoid becoming a tasty mosquito treat this summer.

Top 10 anti mosquito tricks
Top 10 anti mosquito tricks

Nobody likes to give blood, especially to a malaria carrying insect, so next time you find yourself sharing the outdoors with a bunch of bloodthirsty bugs remember these tips to protect yourself from those nasty itchy bites.

#10 DEET
DEET is an effective chemical for keeping bugs away, including tics and mosquitoes. It is found in most popular brands of insect repellent in small to moderate concentrations. Unfortunately it smells bad and has been linked to seizures in children, and death in coldwater fish. It has not been directly linked to any mosquito deaths.

#9 Mosquito Net
The Mosquito Net is a great idea even though it does have it's limitations, the main limitation being size. If you are having more than 3 guests at your outdoor soiree then you may need to invest in more than one net, or insist that people take turns sitting in mosquito free comfort. Alternately you can offer personal mosquito nets which allow more freedom, but make everybody look like beekeepers.

#8 Bats and Dragonflys
Both these creatures are natural predators of the common mosquito and could be employed as insect bouncers at your event. Unfortunately bats and dragonflys are equally unwelcome as mozzies at many outdoor parties, so you have to choose which species would cause the least issues for your guests.

#7 Citronella Candles
Rumor has it that 'skeeters' hate the smell of citronella candles, so lighting a few of these in your yard to keep the little buggers away is a smart move. You can buy some great smelling citronella candles here to put around your party zone. Remember that care should always be taken when using candles since they require a naked flame to operate correctly. When I say naked flame, I do not mean Perez Hilton with no clothes on.

#6 Limoncello
In the same way that mosquitoes dislike the smell of Citronella Candles, they also hate the taste of lemons in your bloodstream. One way to achieve lemon flavored blood is to drink an alcoholic beverage called Limoncello, lots of Limoncello. For a 140 lb woman like myself, 2 pints of limoncello would be needed to saturate blood levels to a point to deter a mosquito from biting. Drinking that much would also saturate blood to a point where you wouldn't notice if a dog bit you, let alone a mosquito.

#5 Marigolds
Marigolds are flowers which give off an aroma which mosquitoes are not particularly fond of, so having them growing in strategic places around your potential party zone will help keep those nasty bugs at bay. Marigold is also a brand of rubber/latex glove used for gardening or washing dishes, and wearing them would be useful for preventing mosquitoes from biting the hands and wrist areas. A double win for marigolds.

#4 Bathing
Mosquitoes are drawn to a variety of odors, including limburger cheese and stale sweat. To reduce the chance of appearing on the mosquito radar a person can eliminate these naturally occurring body aromas by showering daily. A common tactic employed by party givers is to invite a decoy, the person from the office with limited personal hygiene attributes, for the mosquitoes to munch on, leaving the rest of the guests to enjoy the evening pest free. Just remember, if you can't spot the decoy, it could be you.

#3 O-Negative Decoy
Mosquitoes are also drawn to O-negative blood, so just as the dirty decoy from #4 is invited to outdoor events, so are O-Negs. Their decoy status is not that noticeable on the surface and it's not easy to discover these people, who make up about 7% of the population, unless you are a phlebotomist or a vampire. When you do discover an O-Neg it is always good to cultivate a solid friendship with them and invite them to all of your extra-residential events. 

#2 Axe Bodyspray
The availability of Axe Bodyspray could cause a backfire when opting for option #4. Axe deodorant is so potent that many creatures including fellow humans will keep a wide berth of the person wearing it. If your dirty decoy applies a half can of Axe before turning up to your party then the mosquitoes will be repelled from him/her. If you can stand to breathe the astringent aroma of Phoenix or Apollo then standing within the Axmosphere of your decoy will help keep the bugs off your body. Alternately just spray yourself (sparingly) and resign yourself to being a perfumed party pariah.

#1 MosquitGO smartphone app
Yes there are apps out there which claim to keep mosquitoes away by making ultra high frequency sounds which replicate the sound of dragonfly wings and mosquitoes in peril. Since these sounds are beyond the range of human hearing I am not actually sure if my phone is making any sounds at all. So far there is no evidence to suggest that ultrasonics are really effective as mosquito deterrents, but if you have tried #10 through #2 with no success then you are desperate enough to try anything.

Using combinations of these tricks above is more likely to keep the mosquitoes at bay for your next outdoor event, but if you are still troubled by these malaria carrying monsters you can always move the party indoors.

Use the comments section to let us know which of these tricks have worked for you in the past, or if you have your own personal mosquito deterrent that works better than those mentioned above.

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