Mosquitoes suck! OK, that was a cheap remark. Seriously, mosquitoes are not just a nuisance; they can be a danger. Not only can the scratched bites become infected, but West Nile Virus is still a concern even though it’s not quite fresh news anymore. If you’re like me, you have a few bites driving you crazy right now, because you were just too lazy to take a few little preventative steps.
I’m a little bit more aware of mosquitoes because I work outdoors all day for a nursery and also because of the time I spent in Haiti. Also, before and after my missionary trip to Haiti last summer, there was extensive protocol to follow for malaria prevention. From the pre-trip planning, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about incurable mosquito-borne illnesses. That said, prevention is a good thing. We are fortunate to have the tools, so let’s use them!
In addition to a wide variety of inoffensive sprays and lotions on the market, I’ve found a few little goodies in my travels. One of my favorite products is yard insecticide specifically for mosquitoes that can be sprayed on the lawn and garden. It kills mosquitoes for up to a month. I’ve used different brands with a variety of active ingredients, all with pretty good results. My selection usually depends on what’s available at the time. I really like a spray that can be attached to a hose.
I always read labels on any chemical products and follow the directions. Note: These items are usually found on a separate aisle from the insecticides. At one store, I found these products by the citronella candles. There are also some organic choices on the market, but they require much more diligence with repeat applications. Because I am the target of these blood-sucking monsters, I prefer to go full-out Rambo on them.
Another cool item, especially for camping, wilderness travel or for those who work outdoors, is a Permethrin soak. This soak can be used on clothing and mosquito netting for added protection. I used this mosquito repellent on much of the clothing I took to Haiti. It lasts through several washes — especially if there are no washing machines!
I’ve heard mixed reviews about Vitamin B-1 and B-100, so I will simply share my own experience. I took B-1 and used repellent every day in Haiti. On the days I did not take B-1, I experienced more bites. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, but that’s enough proof for me. Ask your doctor, but I’m pretty sure it’s good for your health, too!
Enjoy your summer, and protect yourself from those greedy little blood suckers.