Avoiding Mosquito Bites and the Diseases they can Carry.
Apart from the obvious problem that mosquito bites become itchy, avoiding mosquito bites is the one effective way of preventing mosquito borne diseases. Extra care should be taken with children and those with weakened immune systems due to chronic disease as they are more likely to develop an illness if infected by a virus than the general population.
Why Do Mosquitos Bite People?
Only the adult female mosquito actually bites people, males will never have a blood meal. The female needs the blood for protein in order for her eggs to develop. After a full blood meal, she searches for a suitable place to lay her eggs. The hatchlings (wrigglers, small larvae that are in constant motion) need water to survive and develop into adults. This usually takes from 3-4 days to around a week depending on the species.
How to Prevent Getting Bitten
Tips to Help Remove Mosquito Breeding Sites Around Your Home
- Wear protective clothing; and apply repellant (natural oils such as geranium and neem are safe to apply and effectively repel mosquitoes), especially during high risk times (dusk and dawn)
- Avoid wearing perfumed soaps, sprays, or other sweet smelling formulas that might attract mosquitos.
- Avoid letting mosquitos into the house: keep windows screened, and screens in good repair. Be careful not to leave windows or screen doors ajar.
- You may want to avoid wearing bright colours, and black and white. Mosquitos appear to be less attracted to drab colours such as Khaki green and hight hues.
- Use herbal products containing citronella, lavender and tea tree oil keep mozzies at bay or you can use the crushed leaves of basil, mint, camomile, or tansy.
- Mosquitos breed in areas where there is standing water, even a centimetre depth of water is sufficient for many species.
- Where water must be available, for pets, in birdbaths and for other animals, it is necessary to change the water and flush out the container at least once a week.
- Cover water surface in any rainwater collection tank with a lid or a thin film of kerosene or parrafin.
- Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
- Remove old tyres or drill holes in those used for playground equipment to allow them to drain.
- Turn over or remove plastic pots.
- Pick up broken, discarded or unused toys and containers.
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water in pockets or indentations.
- Store children's wading pools upside down when not in use.
- Change the water in the bottom of plant containers regularly.
- Remove vegetation or obstacles in drainage ditches that prevent flow of water.
- Fix dripping outdoor taps that create pools of water.