preventing mosquito bites

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

 

The rainy season is the danger season, as with the rain comes the onslaught of mosquitos. Since mosquitos are responsible for many killer and crippling diseases - including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, chikungunya and now zika - preventing bites can be a life saver.

 

Some think you can prevent mosquito bites by eating the right foods. Good luck with that. Garlic is not a mosquito repellent. Not according to the science. And there has yet to be any food scientifically proven to prevent mosquito bites.

 

Your attraction to mosquitos is more likely to be hereditary than anything else. Eat all the garlic you want, it won't work. Sure, there are some cultures and families that eat more garlic than others, which may be where this and other food-based mosquito repellent stories originated, but the cause appears to be genes and not food.

 

The best defense is DEET, available at most drug and grocery stores. It cuts off mosquitos' ability to smell, so they can't even find you. Off!, the brand with oil of lemon eucalyptus works well, too, as will any repellent with that ingredient. In fact, nearly any off-the-shelf mosquito repellent works better than garlic.

 

While there are no foods that repel mosquitoes, there is at least one that attracts: Beer, so say French researchers.

 

Since mosquitos dine mostly around sunrise and sunset, that's when you need the most protection. There is no better protection than the combination of DEET and clothing - wear long sleeves, pants (not shorts) and shoes, and spray everything!