NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As we head into peak summer vacation and travel season, we also head into peak mosquito season.
The blood-thirsty pests are more than a nuisance; they can also carry some nasty diseases.
Climate change has tripled the mosquito population over the past decade, so avoiding bites is getting more and more difficult.
For people like Jackie Akbar, summertime can mean becoming a moving feast for mosquitoes.
“They love me,” she said.
Their bites itch like crazy, and worse.
“A bad reaction from them where the bite swells up,” Anisa Alhilali said.
While it may be impossible to avoid all mosquito bites, you can prevent a lot of them by taking a few simple steps, beginning with what you wear.
“Certain types of clothing are much better than others. Lighter clothing actually doesn’t attract them as much as dark clothing. Longer sleeves or pants obviously would be a better barrier than short sleeves,” Dr. Dan Allan, of the Cleveland Clinic, said.
Other preventative measures include applying an insect repellent. Those containing DEET are the most effective, and the American Academy of Pediatrics says DEET is safe to use on children as young as two months.
There is also a non-chemical way to avoid getting bitten: a breeze.
“Mosquitoes are not very good fliers. So if it’s a little windy out, you’re going to be much better off,” Allan said. “Of if you’re going to be out on your porch, if you have a fan, like an overhead fan or a fan that you can run, that can really significantly cut down on the mosquito activity.”
Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. You should dump any standing water on your property, whether that’s cups or buckets or kiddie pools.
Contrary to popular wisdom, garlic, Vitamin B and ultrasound devices do not prevent bites. Screens and netting around sleep areas, however, do.
You should also avoid going outdoors at dusk. That’s when mosquitoes are most actively feeding.