There are few things worldwide that are more irritating than a persistently buzzing mosquito, always just out of reach up until it dives in and bites you when you’re not looking.
When a mosquito bites, it injects saliva containing an anticoagulant that prevents your blood from clotting. The scratchy red swelling that shows is due to an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. While for a few of us this is simply an annoyance, mosquitoes in some parts of the world bring malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and other significant diseases. Even in safer parts of the world, many people have more powerful allergies, producing scratchy welts. Often, mosquitoes hone in on certain individuals, leaving others entirely alone.
In any occasion, there are lots of ways to avoid bites in the very first place. Mosquitoes routinely swarm at sunset; occasionally, they appear in the thousands simply as the sun is fading, then vanish after 30 minutes. Especially if you are allergic or seem to bring in mosquitoes, remain in an area that has a screen. Or, use an insect repellent; most repellents can be utilized quite safely. DEET, for example, is the active component in many repellents; it keeps away a variety of biting insects including mosquitoes, sand flies, and gnats. Another typical repellent is citronella oil, acquired by the steam distillation of newly cut plants. You can rub this onto your exposed skin as a lotion, or apply as a spray.
There are different devices that keep mosquitoes at bay. Bug spray wristbands can be used around the wrists or ankles; these release a fine repellent vapor such as DEET, forming a protective barrier around your body. Since your skin absorbs no liquid chemicals, there is little danger of skin irritation or damage to clothes. Also, plug-in mosquito killers progressively launch insecticide vapors into the air, keeping bugs away. Because plug-ins work so progressively, they are proper for use indoors and can be left on overnight in your bedroom. Mosquito coils, on the other hand, are more noticeable; these coils are set on small metal stands or glass bottles and, when lit, release smoke that drives away mosquitoes. Each coil burns for about 8 hours; coils are appropriate for use outdoors. If you wish to light one within, make sure the room has adequate ventilation.
If you’ve currently been bitten and have an itchy welt, …