Tips for protecting your family against bug bites

From hikes to picnics to relaxing in the hammock, nothing ruins summer fun quite as fast as bug bites. Unfortunately, bug bites are more than just a nuisance. They can trigger allergic reactions in some people, and may transmit diseases like Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. Taking these precautions this summer can help the whole family stay bite-free.

Drain the swamp

Standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Walk around your property after rainfall or after watering the lawn and take note of areas that are not draining properly or are catching and holding water in objects like garden buckets, lids and frisbees. The smallest puddle of water can breed mosquitos.

Choose the right bug spray

Lyme Disease expert, Dr. Michael Jacobs, MD said “When shopping for insect repellents look for those with the active ingredients DEET or Picaridin, two of the most effective active ingredients at preventing bug bites. Stronger concentrations of the active ingredient in the formula will give you more hours of protection. For example, a 10 percent DEET or 7 percent Picaridin formula provides one to two hours of protection, while higher concentrations provide protection for eight hours and longer.”

Cover up and be smart

Make your skin less available to bug bites with smart fashion choices. When outdoors, particularly in wooded areas, wear loose-fitting long sleeves and pants. Light colors are a good choice, as mosquitoes seem to prefer darker clothing.

Why me?

Have you ever felt you were being eaten alive by mosquitoes, while everyone else around you remained unaffected? Many factors can make one person more appealing than another to mosquitoes. Some are beyond one’s control, such as blood type and genetics. However, mosquitoes are attracted to sweat, so don’t forget the deodorant. They also seem to prefer beer drinkers, according to a study by Japanese researchers.

Vacation or staycation?

Get savvy when traveling. Research your destination so you know what types of insects you can expect to encounter. Staying nearby? Remember, most species of mosquitoes in the U.S. are busiest at dusk. During those hours, take extra precautions to avoid becoming their meal.

Courtesy of StatePoint

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