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Mosquito Bite Prevention

Updated on March 31, 2010

When it comes to mosquito bite prevention there are many ways in which you can either reduce the risk or completely protect yourself against bites from mosquitos.

In the world today some of the most serious diseases are spread by mosquitos, such as malaria which is a huge problem in most parts of the tropical world. Or you might want to just rid yourself of bites from your local everyday mosquito. I remember living on the lagoon near Venice years ago and those mozzies would just about carry you away - they were built like helicopters.

There are many ways to reduce the risk of mosquito bites that are chemical free and easy to do. The first is the most simple and that is to understand the habits and habitat of the mosquito, by knowing this you can avoid times and places the mosquitos are most active. Firstly avoid going out during dawn and dusk these are the times when mozzies are most active, also they love when there is high humidity and hot cloudy days, if at all possible choose sunny, cooler low humidity days to go out. So taking this a bit further, mozzies love to hang out in the shade and humidity of a bushy tree. I have a huge fig tree in my back yard and when I take a break from gardening under its shady limbs I am sure to have the little blighters jumping onto me - whereas if I took ten steps into the sun I wouldn't see one of them.

The next element of prevention that I would like you to understand is that mozzies detect their targets by smell and movement. So the more we sweat, breathe and move the more we are making ourselves a target. Keep your movement to a minimum and you will sweat less, breathe less heavily and agitate the air less and this will also reduce the risk. To take this knowledge to a scenario of a group of people walking through a forest, it is best to walk in single file, which creates its own drag and creates minimal disturbance of the surrounding air.

There are foods we can consume to assist in mosquito bite prevention - the most potent of these is to eat raw garlic. Apart from keeping vampires away (maybe this is where the legend comes from) eating raw garlic will mask your breath and exude through the pores of your skin to mask your body odours. I know it makes us smelly but it will keep away mozzies and there are many other health benefits to eating garlic as well. Foods to stay away from are stimulants and foods high in sugar, they heighten the metabolism and send out stronger signs to mosquitos that we are here and open for dinner.

To further mask our skin scent you can cover your skin in oil, such as cedar oil or conifer oil, mosquitos are obsessive about keeping their wings oil free and will avoid oily skin altogether. You can also add orange peel, garlic and onion, to further mask your odour.

When camping light a green fire that will produce a lot of smoke - mozzies hate this and will get out and stay out of Dodge, they also hate the smell of smouldering dry cow manure. This was something my grandfather taught me, he used to get an old jam tin and put dried cow manure in it and light it and let it smoulder for the evening and mozzies would not be seen. Also when camping choose a sites that has dragon flies around it - they virtually live on mozzies and the dragon fly larvae feed of mozzie wrigglers. Make sure to choose a sight that has a breeze - mozzies love to live in still air.

Lastly wear long and loose fitting clothing to cover up form the mozzies which only leaves them your face neck and hands to target. Chemical mozzie spray might work but they are harmful to our skin and health, so I avoid them at all costs and use the above mosquito bit prevention methods to stay mozzie free.

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