Avoid the Mosquito Bite
Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors
One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes from biting you is to simply cover your skin. Wear your sleeves and pant legs as long as possible to cover as much skin as possible. Also keep your clothing as loose as possible. This serves two purposes: first, it's much more comfortable in the hot, humid weather where mosquitoes thrive. Second, mosquitoes can sometimes bite through clothing that's held tight against the skin, especially if the fabric is thin.
• If you have the money, camping and sporting goods stores often sell specially-designed pants and shirts made out of strong yet lightweight material. These clothes offer maximal protection from mosquito bites along with a relatively high level of comfort.
• Clothing may also be sprayed with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for greater protection. (Remember: don't use permethrin on skin.)
There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes that we know about. However, only three mosquito breeds are mostly responsible for carrying diseases affecting humans. These three mosquito breeds are public enemy number one. They are responsible for millions of deaths globally every year whose victims are mostly children and the elderly in developing countries.
The following are the mosquito and the disease they carry:
Anopheles mosquitoes – Malaria, Filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis.
Culex mosquitoes – Encephalitis, Filariasis and West Nile virus.
Aedes mosquitoes - Yellow fever, Dengue, and Encephalitis.
How they suck
The only mosquito that is able to feed on animals (including humans) is the female. The male mosquito does not have the equipment for this task. When the female mosquito bites their victim with what is called their proboscis (sucking straws) they stab the two straws into the skin. One of the straws injects an enzyme that stops the blood from clotting. The other straw sucks the blood from the animal. The blood is a source of protein which feeds their eggs. For both male and female mosquito, plant sugars and nectar are eaten for their nourishment.
How they locate their victims
The carbon dioxide exhaled by animals
The look of high-contrast objects
Warmth of bitable bodies
Olfaction (smell system such as identifying animal body odors)
These triggers are combined in groups which help the mosquito zero in on their victim. In other words, the mosquito senses the carbon dioxide then has a strong attraction to visual features. Olfaction, vision and heat trigger another independent seeking module. The integration of all these underlying features helps the mosquito home in on their victim.
Transmission of Disease
Malaria – The mosquito’s gut transmits parasites which have attached themselves to the gut of the female mosquito and enters the host as she feeds on the animal.
Yellow fever and dengue - A virus enters the mosquito as it feeds on an infected human and is transmitted via the mosquito’s saliva to a subsequent victim.
Why we have mosquitoes
They are an abundant source of food for birds, dragonflies, bats, frogs and thousands of other animals. Normally mosquitoes zero in on horses, cattle and birds more than humans.
Breeding and population control
Mosquitoes need water to breed. Population-control and eradication usually involve removal or treatment of standing water sources. Insecticide spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is also widespread. The attempt on a global scale, to stop the spread of mosquitoes has had little effect and many scientists think global warming will likely increase their number and range due to larger standing bodies of water which are not freezing or freezing for long enough periods of time which is conducive to the success of the mosquitoes breeding along with a prolonged breeding season.
Wear mosquito repellent
A variety of specially-formulated insect repellents are available for sale at camping or sporting goods stores. Apply insect repellent to uncovered skin surfaces when outdoors, especially during the day. When using sunscreen, apply it before insect repellent. Here are a few common chemical solutions effective at repelling mosquitoes:
Repellents containing 30% to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are recommended for adults and children over 2 months of age and effective for several hours. Repellents with lower amounts of DEET offer shorter-term protection and must be applied more often.
DEET can irritate skin when applied directly in high concentration or for long periods of time. It can even cause severe skin reactions in certain individuals.
Despite rumors to the contrary, DEET has never been scientifically proven to cause cancer.
Repellents containing up to 15% picaridin, which must be applied often, are available in the US. Repellents with higher concentrations of picaridin may be available in some regions outside the US
Sleep with a mosquito net over your bed/sleeping area
The mosquito netting has fine holes big enough to allow breezes to easily pass through but small enough to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects out. Hang the netting over your bed, securing the top of the net to one or more surfaces. Support the net so that it's tented without hanging down onto you. Make sure to sleep without touching the sides - mosquitoes can actually bite you through the netting if it's tight against your skin. Check for holes regularly - patch them with duct tape for a quick fix.
• Protect infants less than 2 months of age by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.