There is no question, DEET is the most recommended and most effective mosquito repellent. But there are some other things mosquitoes hate, too. Keeping some of these on hand can help keep mosquitoes away.
Keep Away Mosquitoes With Things Mosquitoes Hate
How do you keep mosquitoes away? The same way you can keep a person or another animal away. Just surround yourself with the things they hate and any mosquito (or person, or stray cat, or pigeon) will think twice before coming around.
The king of mosquito repellents is DEET. It has a long history of use and is recommended by all major health institutions around the world. This includes the CDC in the U.S. If you are concerned about mosquito borne illness, keep the DEET within easy reach. We are by no means suggesting you ditch it.
But there are some other things mosquitoes hate, too. Keeping some of those around could increase your mosquito repellent power over just plain DEET. Here are few things you can try.
DEET is the long time reigning champ of mosquito repellents. It was developed by the U.S. military in 1946 and has been used billions of times since then with very little adverse effect. But there is a newcomer that seems poised to take the lead.
Picaridin (pronounced pih-CARE-a-den) was developed by Bayer in the 1980’s. It is a synthetic compound, but it is developed from an extract of a plant similar to table pepper. Unlike DEET, it has no odor, is not greasy, and doesn’t damage vinyl, plastic, and other synthetics. In studies it has been shown to be as effective as DEET. It has only been available in Europe and Australia since 1998, and was only approved in the U.S. in 2005. The EPA has determined that Picaridin, when applied normally does not have any adverse health effects. That’s true of DEET, too. It’s still too early to tell the long-term health effects of Picaridin, but there is a lot of promising research so far.
If you want to ward of mosquitoes but don’t like the odor or feeling of DEET, give Picaridin a try.
Loosely Fitting Clothes
One way to avoid mosquitoes is to cover up. It may seem unappealing on a hot summer day, but long pants and long sleeves provide some protection from mosquitoes.
But not all clothing is created equal. Mosquitoes are tough little bugs, and a t-shirt or tight pair of jeans may not be enough to keep them from biting. A mosquito can get through many fabrics to deliver its bite, so covering yourself is not a guarantee that you will avoid bites.
But loose fitting clothing does a much better job. That’s because when the clothing is slightly distanced from the skin, the mosquito simply can’t reach the flesh beneath. If they can’t reach you, they can’t bite you. So clothing that puts a little space between you and the material is an ideal way to keep mosquitoes from biting you.
Unlike you and me, mosquitoes hate a pleasant breeze on a hot summer day. That’s because mosquitoes are not great fliers. They can have trouble flying in almost any wind. And their small size and tiny weight mean that it doesn’t take a lot of wind to toss them around.
Keeping a fan blowing in your direction will make mosquitoes think twice before heading your way. It’s not much of a solution if you’re up and moving around. But if you plan to lay out in the sun or take refuge under a shady tree, tilting a fan in your direction can do more than help you beat the heat. At least in the area where the fan is blowing, mosquitoes should leave you alone.
Okay, so it’s not exactly non-alcoholic beer that will keep the mosquitoes away. But avoiding beer and other liquors can help keep mosquitoes from flocking to you. Studies have shown that people who drink beer are more attractive to mosquitoes than people who have been sipping another type of drink.
Mosquitoes also like warm, sweaty skin. Consumption of any type of alcohol makes the skin flush. In other words, those cocktails you’re enjoying out on the deck make your skin warmer and more attractive to mosquitoes.
Since mosquitoes are attracted to sweaty skin, exercise that leaves you with a nice coating of perspiration makes you more attractive to mosquitoes. When you work out your muscles, you also produce lactic acid, which your body excretes in your sweat. Mosquitoes are especially attracted to lactic acid, so that’s a second strike against working out.
But don’t think that skipping the exercise is a solution to mosquitoes. If you’re overweight, you have a higher resting respiration rate, which means you emit more CO2, which also attracts mosquitoes. So your best bet is to exercise (which is good for many reasons), but shower before you go lounging outdoors.
Light Colored Clothing
Mosquitoes often find their next meal by looking for dark silhouettes. In the wild, mosquitoes are looking for large vertebrates that they can land on and feed from undisturbed. In your backyard, at a park, or on a hike, mosquitoes will be able to find you based on your silhouette. Wearing dark clothes gives you a strong, start silhouette, an easy target for mosquitoes.
Wearing white clothes makes you blend in more with the background. White and pale colored clothing blend more with the light behind you, making it harder for mosquitoes to identify you as a target. Remember that old adage about wearing white during the summer? Well this puts a whole new spin on it
It may seem that sitting still makes you a sitting duck when it comes to mosquitoes. But the fact is that mosquitoes don’t have great eyesight, and one way they can find their targets is by watching for motion. Mosquitoes look for large, dark silhouettes that could be animals for them to feed on. But they need to tell them apart from other large, dark objects, like trees and rocks. While there are numerous clues that help (odor, temperature, CO2), one surefire way to tell that something is a target is when it moves. So all else being equal, sitting still makes you harder for a mosquito to see.
As much as mosquitoes hate those other things, mosquitoes REALLY hate Mr. Mister. That’s because the professionals at Mr. Mister don’t just repel mosquitoes and they don’t just hide. With Mr. Mister on your side you can create a completely bug free zone around your house or your property.
We offer two main ways of doing this. The first option is to get regular misting treatments. We come to your property approximately every 21 days. On each visit we spray a special 100% biodegradable solution that sticks to the underside of the foliage around your home. That solution kills mosquitoes and prevents them from reproducing. That stops mosquitoes now and keeps them from coming back,
Another option is our automated misting system installation. An automated misting system is installed like a sprinkler system around your property. It is almost completely hidden from view. The misting system releases a mist of anti-mosquito solution on a regular schedule to keep mosquitoes from ever taking hold.
So if you really want to keep mosquitoes at way, go for what they really hate: Mr. Mister. Visit us online and then contact us for a quick no obligation quote. We’ll get your home mosquito free in no time!