Mosquitoes: Don't let them ruin your outdoor activities

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Mosquitoes: Don't let them ruin your outdoor activities

Mosquitoes — Get tips to keep them from ruining your time outdoors.

There's no doubt about it: Mosquitoes are annoying. What's worse, their bites sometimes transmit serious diseases, such as West Nile virus.

While your risk of getting diseases from mosquitoes is low, your risk of being annoyed by mosquitoes is high. In fact, mosquitoes may be so annoying that you don't even enjoy spending time outdoors. Although mosquitoes are most prevalent at dawn and dusk, it's not always possible or desirable to stay indoors during those periods — they may be peak time for fun activities.

But you can take steps to keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay, no matter what time of day it is. With some basic steps, you and your family may spend less time scratching itchy bites and more time at playgrounds, ball games or backyard barbecues.

Deterring mosquitoes with clothing

What you wear can also help keep mosquitoes at bay. Clothing tips to keep in mind, particularly in areas that are heavily infested with mosquitoes, include:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts
  • Wear socks
  • Wear long pants and consider tucking your pants into your socks
  • Wear light-colored clothing, since mosquitoes are more attracted to darker colors
  • Wear a full-brimmed hat to protect your head and neck or a baseball cap with a fold-out flap to protect the back of your neck
  • Consider wearing a mosquito net to cover your head and face or torso

Other mosquito-deterrent methods

Other methods of controlling mosquitoes also are popular, but their effectiveness is unproved. These other methods include:

  • Electronic insect control systems, better known as bug zappers
  • Citronella-scented candles
  • Replacing outdoor lights with yellow bug lights
  • Attracting birds and mammals that feed on mosquitoes, such as blue martins and bats

Last Updated: 05/22/2006
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