Summer isn’t here officially until the end of June but that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Most schools are out for vacation, the weather is perfect for swimming, and temperatures are rising. Of course, that also means that mosquitoes are coming out to enjoy their favorite time of year.
Most people have an unpleasant reaction to mosquito bites. This can include pain, redness, itching, and inflammation at the site of a bug bite. But for some people, getting a mosquito bite is much worse. “Skeeter syndrome” is a rare allergic reaction to mosquito bites. Those that have it can experience unbearable itching, pain, swelling, redness, and even scarring at the site.
Thankfully, most people don’t have such a severe reaction. But even if you aren’t allergic to mosquitoes, you probably want to avoid them as much as possible.
Bug spray has been proven to be safe and effective against most mosquito bites. However, there are some easy ways that you can make your yard a safe haven from mosquitoes — and make yourself less of a target.
If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outside this summer, make sure you keep yourself safe with these handy tips for avoiding itchy bites.
1. Wear light shades like yellow and white.
It may seem unbelievable, but mosquitoes actually don’t like certain colors. They tend to be attracted to darker or more vibrant colors, like red and black. Wearing light-colored clothing is an easy way to get these pesky creatures to leave you alone.
2. Fortify your clothes.
Spraying your outdoor clothes with permethrin is a good way to repel mosquitoes. This chemical is safe and effective and you only need to apply it once every few weeks. This is particularly important if you have skeeter syndrome or are in a really buggy area.
3. Protect your feet.
Mosquitoes are actually attracted to strong odors …. like the ones given off by a pair of sweaty feet. To avoid getting itchy bites on your feet or ankles, keep your shoes outside. Better yet, make sure you wear both socks and sneakers.
4. Don’t indulge in beer.
Researchers aren’t sure why, but mosquitoes are attracted to the scent of beer. Drinking even a single serving makes you a target. If you want a pleasant drink to enjoy outside this summer, consider a glass of wine or a mixed drink instead.
5. Make your garden into a mosquito-repelling sanctuary.
There are tons of plants and herbs that mosquitoes dislike. Planting these is an easy way to make your yard into a no-mosquito zone — and get some beautiful aromas, too. Mosquito-repelling plants include lavender, bee balm, peppermint, rosemary, basil, lemon, marigolds, and catnip.
6. Choose your perfume with care.
You may love your floral perfume but so do the mosquitoes. If you feel like you are getting targeted by too many bugs, consider switching fragrance. Fun fact: some perfumes have been found to be as effective as DEET when it comes to repelling nasty critters.
7. Keep standing water out of your yard.
Mosquitoes love laying their eggs in standing water. To make sure your yard isn’t a sanctuary for larvae, empty out any buckets and try to dry out long-standing puddles (or put some skeeter killer in them).
8. Wear loose clothing.
Good news for anyone who loves clothes with a little swish. Mosquitoes can actually bite through skin-tight clothing. Wearing loose clothes ensures that they can’t get at your skin.
9. Swat them away.
This might seem fairly self-explanatory but there’s actually science behind swatting at bugs. The more you do it, the more mosquitoes associate you with danger. They even send one another signals that you’re better avoided.
10. Keeps fans running.
While mosquitoes like to swarm, they’re not very good at flying. Keeping fans running is a great way to keep them away since they simply can’t fight the airflow.
11. Use candles.
There are tons of mosquito candles that you can find to illuminate your porch and yard while keeping the little buggers at bay. If you prefer a double shield, use citronella candles that repel mosquitoes both with their light and scent.
12. Embrace natural predators.
Mosquitoes have a couple of natural predators that are very effective at cutting back on the bug population. Consider putting in a bat house. A single bat eats hundreds of mosquitoes in a night.
13. Apply bug repellent the right way.
If you’re putting on both sunscreen and bug repellent, make sure to get the order right. Sunscreen goes on first and bug repellent second for the best protection you can get.
14. Burn citronella candles.
Citronella candles are a great way to keep the bugs away. Some people dislike their strong scent, while others find it pleasant. But the important thing is that mosquitoes REALLY don’t like it.
15. Set out bowls of used coffee grounds.
For a cheap, easy, and environmentally-friendly way to repel mosquitoes, put used coffee grounds throughout your garden. It’s an easy way to compost and gets rid of bugs without spraying anything in your yard.
16. Use mosquito curtains.
Using mosquito curtains is actually an incredibly effective way to deter bugs. Mosquitoes aren’t all that determined to find their way through the netting, which means you stay protected. There are plenty of options for attractive, affordable curtains.
17. Light a fire.
If you’re camping, you may as well light a campfire! Both the fire’s smoke and light repel mosquitoes. Plus, it just gives you an opportunity to make s’mores.
18. Use garlic.
Garlic is another plant that mosquitoes dislike. They can’t stand the smell. You can set some cloves out in bowls or grow garlic in your garden for the ultimate bug protection.
19. Go the herbal route.
Aromatic herbs are a great way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard. Basil, lavender, and rosemary are all plants that keep your yard smelling fragrant while repelling bugs. You can also use the herbs to enhance your cooking.
20. Put in a Cadaga tree.
Cadaga is yet another scent that mosquitoes can’t stand. Planting one of these trees in your yard will make it an undesirable place for mosquitoes to flourish.
21. Use a mosquito misting system.
Mosquitoes can’t fight netting or fans. Similarly, they don’t enjoy trying to fight their way through misters. Installing a misting system on your porch will help keep the bugs away.
22. Install a koi pond.
Standing water is a bad idea, but a koi pond is actually a great way to keep mosquitoes away. Bugs lay their eggs in the water and koi eat them by the thousands. It’s an easy and aesthetic option for giving you some extra bug control.
23. Buy some mosquito coils.
You can find mosquito coils at any hardware store. These coils are actually made of special incense. The combination of smoke and aroma will drive mosquitoes out of your yard.
24. Plant some catnip.
If you have a love of cats and a hatred of bugs, consider planting catnip. The smell repels mosquitoes — but be prepared to have some very excited feline visitors in your yard.
25. Drop a couple of pounds.
If you’re planning on getting a “summer body” this year, know there are some extra benefits: the more you weigh, the more heat you put off. This naturally attracts more bugs.
26. Don’t use bug zappers.
You might think that bug zappers are a good way to, well, zap the bugs. But they also continually attract more mosquitoes that come to see what’s going on with their “friends.”
27. Burn some thyme.
This simple method of getting bugs out of your yard is super straightforward: just light a little bit of thyme until it starts to smoke. Once it gets going, leave it on your porch for a while before you go outside.
28. Mind your timing.
Bugs love to swarm early in the morning and late in the afternoon as the sun starts to set. If you’re particularly sensitive to mosquito bites, it’s best to avoid going outdoors during those times.
29. Don’t do exercises outside.
If there’s anything that mosquitoes really love, it’s heat and odors. Working up a sweat outside makes you, unfortunately, the perfect meal for a hungry bug. Take your workout indoors until autumn!
30. Use bug lights.
There are special mosquito-repelling lights that you can find on many websites. These are an attractive and easy way to make your yard or porch an unattractive place for these critters.
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