Ways & How

How to Prevent Insect Bites

How to Prevent Insect Bites

Insect bites can be very irritating and itchy. Sometimes, you don’t even notice an insect bite until it gets red and swollen. Most of the time, insect bites are harmless, but they can also be fatal, such as mosquito bites that cause dengue fever and malaria and bee stings that can cause severe allergic reactions. Therefore, avoiding insect bites is best. Here are some ways on how to prevent insect bites:

  1. Cover exposed skin. Insects are most active during sunrise and sunset, so if you happen to be outside during these times, cover up and wear pants and shirts with long sleeves. You should also wear loose clothing since insects can easily bite through tight, thin clothes. Wear light-colored clothes because mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors. In addition, avoid clothes with floral patterns; this can attract wasps and bees.

  2. Apply insect repellent on exposed skin, especially during the autumn and summer months when bites are more likely to happen. If you are also using sunscreen, apply it first before the insect repellent.

    Insect repellents that contain 30 to 50 percent DEET are the most effective ones for several hours of protection. Lower concentrations of DEET offer shorter hours of protection and must be reapplied every now and then, while higher concentrations of DEET can cause skin irritation and allergies.

  3. Avoid insect habitats. Wasp nests can be commonly found near roofs and trees. If there is an insect nest near your house, avoid disturbing them and arrange to have it removed. You should also avoid stagnant water since this is a favorite spot of mosquitoes. If there is any stagnant water in your home, such as a pool, cover it or add chlorine when not in use to prevent mosquitoes from making it their home.

  4. Always clean your sheets. If you happen to wake up in the morning and find insect bites all over your arms and legs, then your bed might have bed bugs. Change your sheets, comforters, and blankets immediately and have them cleaned thoroughly at a local dry cleaners. Have them treated as well, since some cleaners have chemicals that can prevent bugs from building nests in your sheets.

  5. Grow anti-insect plants. If you love gardening, then you can try growing plants that have insect repelling properties. Examples rose geraniums, rosemary, lemon balm, catnip, and basil. According to research from Iowa State University, catnip essential oil can ward off mosquitoes 10 times better than DEET. You can extract the essential oils of these plants or buy them, mix it with grain alcohol, and rub a small amount on your skin.

  6. Take vitamin B1. According to studies, 25-50 milligrams of thiamin three times a day and two weeks before the mosquito season can reduce your chances of mosquitoes and other insects biting you. Thiamin produces an odor that repels mosquitoes, although humans are not sensitive to this odor. You could also eat foods with garlic since the smell of garlic can also ward off insects.

  7. Avoid sweating. If you live in a hot and humid environment, try to stay cool as much as possible to avoid insect bites. Insects are more attracted to warm bodies, so stay indoors and avoid excessive outdoor exercise. Too much exercise can also cause you to breathe heavily and exhale more carbon dioxide, which further attracts mosquitoes.

Once you know how to prevent insect bites, you can focus on enjoying the nice weather. The important thing is to always be vigilant and learn to protect yourself, especially during mosquito season.


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