*Mosquito Bite Protection - Ten Tips for Forest Users*

*Protection Tips for People Working and Playing in the Forest*

By Steve Nix <>,


*University of Connecticut*

There is a risk of mosquito bite every time you enter a forest or work in
and around the woods. In addition to being uncomfortable, mosquito insect
bites can cause illnesses which include several types of encephalitis,
dengue and yellow fever, malaria, and West Nile virus. The actual bite comes
from the evening and night-time feeding female.

Late summertime is mosquito season. Wet weather and high humidity during
warm weather rapidly increases mosquito populations. More insects generate
more bites and a greater likelihood for the spread of disease.

Annual West Nile virus outbreaks are increasingly in the news. You do need
to be aware of potential health issues and to prevent mosquito bites. But
don't worry too much. In reality, according to mosquito expert Dr. Andrew
Spielman, "Your chances of getting a disease are one in a million".

So the good news is, human illness from West Nile virus is rare in North
America, even in areas where the virus has been reported. The chance that
any one person is going to become ill from a mosquito bite is low. The bad
news is, if you work or play in the woods your chances for bites go up which
increases your exposure to mosquito-borne disease...

Here are ten tips to help you reduce the risk of mosquito bite:

1.    Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)
when you're outdoors.

2.    Wear loose fitting clothes to help prevent mosquitoes from reaching
the skin and to retain less heat.

3.    When ever possible, wear long-sleeved clothes, socks and long pants.

4.    In a forest, wear clothing that helps you blend in with the
background. Mosquitoes hone in on color contrast and movement.

5.    Treat your clothes with permethrin repellents. Do not use permethrin
on your skin!

6.    Avoid perfumes, colognes, fragrant hair sprays, lotions and soaps
which attract mosquitoes.

7.    Reduce your risk of exposure by staying indoors during peak mosquito
feeding hours (from dusk until dawn).

8.    Avoid lingering in places where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Usually
this is around standing water.

9.    Spray a pyrethrin into the air when confined to a certain outside

10.  Taking vitamin B, garlic, eating bananas, constructing bat houses and
hanging insect "zappers are not effective against mosquitoes.

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W. Justin Sealy
Area Forestry Teacher
Georgia Department of Education