Taking the Sting Out of Summertime Bug Bites

For the past three years, I’ve been reading that “this is going to be a record year for mosquitoes.” While I don’t know if these claims have come true every single year, there’s no doubt that mosquitoes and other biting pests are major summertime “fun suckers.”

Mosquitoes can cause all kinds of diseases—dengue fever, malaria and various encephalitis illnesses are the most common mosquito-borne illnesses, but scientists now say that some people are actually allergic to mosquito bites, a condition known as “skeeter syndrome.”

Skeeter syndrome is frequently mistaken for a bacterial infection, but is actually the result of an allergic reaction to the proteins that are found in mosquito saliva. Unfortunately, as of now there’s no way to detect mosquito antibodies in the blood via a simple blood test, so skeeter syndrome is diagnosed by the description of large, red areas that swell and itch violently after a mosquito bite.

Warding Off Mosquitoes

Thankfully, there are many ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay. These break down into prevention, repelling and attacking.

Prevention

The best way to combat mosquitoes is to make sure that they never get a chance to become a problem in the first place. This means making your environment as hostile to mosquitoes and their larvae as possible. In order to do this, you need to keep in mind the one thing that mosquitoes need in order to procreate—water. If you want to keep mosquito populations under control, you need to make sure that you manage the water on your property. Dry up any rain water that you find and keep your swimming pool clean and properly maintained. Even old birdbaths are a draw for mosquitoes, so don’t let water sit for more than two or three days before refreshing it. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water and by simply keeping your property free from this mosquito magnet, you’ll ensure fewer mosquito bites.

Repelling

Mosquito

There are a variety of insect repellents on the market that you can spray on your clothing or around the yard to keep mosquitoes away. Personally, I prefer to use homemade repellents like eating garlic before heading outside. I also grow lavender and basil around my property; they look nice and repel biting bugs. Lastly, I don’t let grass or weeds get out of hand. This is where the male mosquitoes hang out looking for a mate. Long grass and unattended weeds are like the prom for mosquitoes, so keep the area as unfriendly as possible to discourage fraternization.

Attacking

The mosquito wars are generally won in the stages of prevention and repelling. If you work to make your property and yourself as unappealing as possible, you’ll find that you’re suffering from fewer bites than most people. However, if you need to kill mosquitoes, keep in mind that it’s easier to get them while they’re still developing than it is to kill adult mosquitoes. Insecticides and larvicides are usually much more effective and easier on the environment than adulticides are. Talk to a pesticide expert about how to treat mosquitoes without spraying a lot of toxic chemicals around your yard.

If you want to stay healthy this summer, just remember that a little caution, combined with routine visits to your chiropractor are the key to wellness. Your chiropractic team is able to provide you with the care you need to stay strong and healthy during the hot days of summer.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

Story creditVideo credit, Photo credit: Mosquito by Josh*m. Used under a Creative Commons license.

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.