DID you know mosquitos are one of the world’s most dangerous animals?
Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half the world’s population is at risk from deadly virus-carrying mosquitoes such as the Aedes aegypti species.
9 tips for preventing illness on vacation
Mosquitoes come in 3,000 different varieties, starting at three millimeters and ranging up to four inches with an 11-inch wingspan.
Those found in tropical and subsaharan countries can carry a variety of deadly diseases including malaria, Chikungunya, encephalitis, yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus.
Each of these potentially fatal diseases is treatable, but what’s even better than a cure? Prevention.
Preventing being bitten by one of the trillions of the vampiric menaces means not having to endure the irritating and itchy bite it causes and also avoiding contracting a life-threatening illness.
There’s a multitude of tips on keeping yourself safe against mosquito bites, from reducing your CO2 emissions to splashing a little extra cash of good repellant.
End them before they begin
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. Some species desire clean water for their babies but mostly, stagnant is the chosen type.
It only takes a week for an egg to grow into an adult, so if you can destroy them before they hatch, you’ve already won half the battle.
Avoiding stagnant water
Mosquitoes live on every continent except Antarctica, so the abundance of penguins down there are safe from these predators.
However, this means if you choose to vacation just about anywhere in the world, you stand a chance of being a mosquito’s supper.
Help yourself by not lingering around stagnant water. This means ponds, lakes, slow flowing rivers, unused birdbaths, pastures, woodland pools, drains, and even rainwater-filled ashtrays.
Focus on your extremities
Some mosquitoes, such as the Aedes aegypti which are carriers of yellow fever, have learned to live “harmoniously” with humans and know how to avoid detection.
They do this by aiming for the feet and ankles of their victims and go unnoticed until the frustrating deed is done.
Try to keep these areas covered with socks and shoes.
Mosquitoes are bad fliers
Considering it’s their primary mode of transport, mosquitoes are not renowned for their flying ability.
In fact, any wind speed over one mph can blow them off course, so a simple plug-in fan could deter the critters from biting you.
Try not to omit much CO2
Perhaps not something you’ve ever had to consider before, but it’s worth noting that mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 which humans release.
CO2 levels tend to increase when we give our hearts a workout, this can be anything from exercising to eating spicy food.
If you have CO2 level-increasing activities planned, consider doing them inside because mosquitoes can’t penetrate doors.
DEET yourself up
DEET is a combination of chemicals scientifically proven to repel mosquitoes. One of the best formulas on the market containing DEET is called OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent.
It offers eight hours of protection again mosquitoes and ticks which carry Lyme disease.
Dousing yourself in mosquito spray is a sure fire way to slip under the bug’s radar. Remember to apply it everywhere and as often as you can.
Wear light clothing
A mosquito’s eyesight is almost as bad as their flying skills. Apart from sniffing out CO2, they find their victims by spotting differentiation in colors.
So by day, wearing light clothing means you’ll blend into the horizon from the perspective of a mosquito and ultimately be camouflaged against a mozzie attack.
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If you’ve followed these hacks and still wind up with some itchy lumps, try not to scratch them and apply antihistamine creams to reduce the swelling.
There’s little chance they’ll be wiped off the face of the planet via human intervention so we just have to wisen up and outsmart the critters.
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