Protecting ourselves from mosquito bites does a lot more than save our skin from swelling or itching. It lessons our chances of contracting serious illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and the Zika virus. It is estimated that about one to two million people die each year globally from these mosquito-borne illnesses.
Though there are numerous over-the-counter repellents easily accessible for purchase, the side effects to these powerful chemicals could potentially be toxic or harmful to our bodies. It’s important to be aware of the natural preventative measures to truly maximize our protection against annoying mosquito bites.
Here are some following tips to consider:
Use lemon eucalyptus oil
Center for Disease Control recommends the use of this natural oil, extracted from the leaves and twigs of lemon-scented gum eucalyptus plant. Researchers from New Mexico State University found that insect repellent products containing lemon eucalyptus oil was almost as effective and long lasting as products containing DEET, which is a strong yet effective pesticide loaded with toxic chemicals.
Wear light colors
Mosquitoes are most attracted to colors that can be found in nature, such as dark greens, blues, or blacks. Wear light colors such as white, beige or faded pastels, as they won’t stand out to mosquitoes as much.
Possibly the most effective way to avoid mosquitoes is to cover up the skin. Avoid tight clothing at the risk of overheating during the summer months, also keeping in mind that mosquitoes can easily bite through the fabric if the material is tight against the skin. Clothing made specifically for summer camping gears are strong and lightweight, so if you’re really serious about covering up against mosquito bites, it may be worth investing in these items.
Take frequent showers
Bacteria colonies are what causes sweat to smell attractive to mosquitos, so it’s important to shower regularly to reduce this body odor. This is the reason why mosquitoes tend to migrate over to areas such as the armpit and the feet first, as those are common areas in the human body that holds most amounts of bacteria.
Try to avoid excessive exercise outdoors
Mosquitoes are drawn to humans by the carbon dioxide we exhale, so the more CO2 we release while exercising, the greater the chances we’ll attract them even from a far distance.
Avoid drinking beer
According to several studies, alcohol may be as attractive to mosquitoes as it is to adults. A recent new study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that for every 12 ounce beer a person drinks, they are 20 percent more likely to be bitten. So think twice next time you reach for that beer can while camping outdoors!