Mosquitos are a nuisance for many reasons but mainly due to their ability to spread infection and disease. In Australia, there are approximately 5000 cases of human illness caused by Ross River Fever and Barmah Forest Fever every year. Both fevers are transmitted by mosquitos.
Bites from mosquitos can also cause infection, particularly in small children and infants who are more prone to scratch their bites. So, as summer approaches, it is best to be prepared for the onslaught that will come.
CLEAR AREAS WHERE WATER POOLS
Make sure all backyard tubs and unused plant pots are free of water and keep gutters and drains clear. Mosquitos breed in water so it’s important to eliminate their breeding grounds. When you are out and about during summer take extra precautions as outlined below.
Mosquitos are attracted to darker colours, so when you are in areas where you know they will be hovering, cover up with long sleeved light coloured clothing.
Mosquitos tend to feed at night but don’t forget to take precautions at dusk and dawn when they are still active. The old fashioned mosquito net is an effective way of keeping mosquitos away while you are sleeping as is having a fan turned on in the bedroom.
MOSQUITO REPELLENTS ARE THE ONLY REALLY EFFECTIVE DETERRENT
Use a repellent containing DEET or Picaridin for the best protection. Read and follow the instructions on product labelling carefully and be particularly careful when applying product to young children and babies. Speak to your pharmacist for advice about what products will work best for your family.
ESSENTIAL OILS AND NATURAL REMEDIES.
Many people prefer a natural alternative to chemical repellents and there are a host of essential oils and natural remedies available. One of the essential oils that is proving to have a good level of effectiveness is Lemon Eucalyptus. And while there is certainly a place for natural repellents, it is important to note that studies have shown they are less effective than DEET or Picaridin and would have to be applied more often to be effective. Care also needs to be taken about applying these directly to the skin.