Preventing mosquito bites not only enhances your family's enjoyment of outdoor activities, but also protects you from exposure to West Nile virus and other diseases carried by mosquitoes. West Nile virus has been on the rise in many states over the last few years, and growing insect populations create higher-than-ever risks for disease. Taking mosquito protection steps is the best way to avoid exposure.
But the solution isn't staying indoors or wearing long pants and jackets all summer. You can actually prevent mosquito bites by creating a bite-free zone wherever you go to provide protection for you and your family. Following are tips for preventing mosquito bites so you can spend summer in the great outdoors.
Preventing mosquito bites
Repellents for mosquito protection
Mosquitoes find you by sensing the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and moisture your body gives off. Insect repellents prevent bites by masking these, making you basically invisible to the bugs. Today's insect repellent mosquito protection products  offer new solutions that you can tailor to your specific situation. Gone are the overly greasy formulas and strong smells of the past. But you need to know what the right product is for your outdoor activities.
There are three main types of insect repellents available today for preventing mosquito bites. DEET, which has been around since the 1950s, offers long-lasting, effective, dependable protection. DEET-based products are ideal for outdoor sports, hiking, camping and hunting because they stand up to perspiration. The second option is a newer product called Picaridin, which prevents mosquito bites with odorless, effective protection and has a light, clean feel. A third, completely natural option is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), a plant-based insect repellent. Derived from a renewable resource, OLE has a pleasant scent and has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for effective protection against mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile virus.
Here are additional recommendations from the experts for repelling mosquitoes and preventing mosquito bites:
If mosquitoes are able to penetrate your perimeter and bite you, clean the affected area with soap and water to remove contaminated particles left behind. Refrain from scratching because this may cause the skin to break down and an infection to form. Treat itching at the site of the bite with an anti-itch cream or ointment, and over the next several days, watch for signs of infection such as increasing redness, swelling or pain. If any of these occur, get to a doctor for treatment.
With these simple tips for mosquito protection, you can prevent mosquito bites and enjoy a bite-free zone wherever you go in the great outdoors.