Did you know that the mosquito is the deadliest vector according to the World Health Organization? This bloodsucker affects hundreds of millions of people every year. Dengue fever alone affects 300 million people. How much more if you add the cases of malaria, Zika virus, yellow fever, and many more? This is the main reason why people prevent mosquito bites. You have no idea how deadly they really are unless you experience the symptoms.
Unfortunately, mosquitoes are everywhere. Even if you’re away from home, you can still get bitten especially if you go on a hike, when you bike, even when you swim. There will be mosquitoes ready to pierce the skin. This is one of the most common complaints of bikers worldwide. Whenever they stop to rest, mosquitoes swarm them. This is because of the carbon dioxide they emit after strenuous activity. If you’re a biker and you want to prevent mosquito bites, here are some tricks to apply:
Use Mosquito Repellent
When you stop to rest, your first line of defense against mosquitoes is a repellant. These chemicals contain active ingredients that stop mosquitoes from biting you. The main purpose of mosquito repellent is to conceal the chemicals emitted by your body that attracts mosquitoes. DEET, Picaridin, Permethrin, and IR3535 are the active ingredients of mosquito repellants. The formulation of mosquito repellants comes in a variety of strengths. During bikes and hikes, it is recommended to choose a formulation with 30%-50%. Regularly apply mosquito repellent on your exposed skin to ham prevent mosquitoes from detecting you hence, avoiding mosquito bites which can lead to various illnesses.
If you do not want synthetic materials as a repellent, you can use a citronella oil solution. Mix drops of citronella with water and spray it on the skin or your clothing. The downside of using this is its short-lasting effects. However, it is safer compared to other chemicals. You only need to apply it more frequently and as needed.
Use your Clothing as a Shield
Mosquito bites are usually seen on exposed body parts usually on the legs, arms, neck, and ankles. This is why it’s important to wear clothes that can minimize exposure. Use long sleeve shirts and lightweight pants. Also, consider wearing long socks. This will keep mosquitoes from targeting your ankles until your knees. Wearing compression socks for shin splints is also a good option in case you have shin splints. It will not only keep mosquitoes away but will also give you some relief from your medical issue. You can also wear a bandana to protect your neck from mosquitoes. Wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent mosquitoes from penetrating the fabric.
The color of your clothing can help prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark-colored clothes because they easily emit the heat from the body. This is why experts recommend wearing light-colored garments. You can also wear clothing treated with Permethrin and prevent mosquitoes from detecting the carbon dioxide you emit. Consider spraying permethrin on your clothes to keep you away from mosquitos. However, remember not to spray Permethrin directly on your skin since this is a dangerous chemical substance.
Be extra cautious during Mosquito Peak Hours
Mosquitoes are usually active at certain hours of the day. When biking and hiking during early sunrise and late sunset, be extra cautious. This is the usual period when they gather and feed. If possible, have your DEETs on hand and prepare that extra bandana to prevent mosquito bites.
Avoid usual hiding spots of mosquitoes
Mosquitoes usually gather in their favorite places. This includes bushes, grassy areas, shaded areas, wetlands, and near stagnant bodies of water. These are the usual places where mosquitoes reproduce. They avoid the sun as much as possible because they can overheat and desiccate. The aforementioned places serve as their escape from the sun. So, it’s important to take the high ground instead of trails near water sources. You can also hike and bike along wind-swept cliffs and ridges. Mosquitoes are easily blown away because of their size. So, rest in areas where winds can save you from their bite.
Use Mosquito Nets
Mosquito nets have long been used to keep people safe from insect bites. It is a piece of mandatory hiking equipment that is easy-to-use, lightweight, and affordable. It can protect you from bites when traveling through mosquito-infested areas. Mosquito nets have small holes that prevent mosquitos from passing through but allow the breeze to come through. Set it up as a secondary tent. Avoid wrapping the mosquito net around your skin as this allows mosquitoes to bite you. The holes of the net will be useless if it is directly on your skin.
You can apply all these methods at home too, especially if you want to prevent mosquitoes during picnics and other outdoor activities. Other methods you can apply at home include the following:
These are only some of the most common ways to prevent mosquitoes from biting you while hiking and biking. Remember to have DEETs or a citronella oil solution with you. Also, wear protective gear and clothes to protect you from insect bites. Don’t forget to apply these methods when you get home to eliminate mosquito infestations that could lead to countless diseases. With consistency, you can assure that your family is protected from the plague that mosquitoes can bring.