How to Keep Mosquitoes and Other Pests Away

MosquitoesThe following steps can protect you and your family against insect bites and stings:

  • Stay clear of areas that attract pests. Stinging insects favor bushes, rot­ting fruit, and decaying logs or stumps. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Bees and wasps also like garbage, so keep your garbage outside in covered cans.
  • Consume sweet-smelling foods and drinks inside, when possible. These attract insects. For the same reason, skip sweet-smelling colognes, soaps, and lotions when you’ll be outside.
  • Avoid the patterns and textures insects favor. These include floral prints, bright clothing, and shiny jewelry.
  • Use a mosquito repellant. The longest-lasting repellents contain the chemical DEET. For kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sticking with repellents that contain no more than 30 percent DEET. Never use insect repellent on infants younger than 2 months. Instead, place your baby in a carriage and cover it with mosquito netting.
  • Light candles at night. In one study, people who lit citronella candles had 42 percent fewer bites than those who stayed in the dark. However, even regular candles reduced bites by 23 percent.
  • Design your garden to be less attractive to bees. They seem to especially like yellow and white flowers. But they find reds less attractive than other colors.
  • If a wasp or bee threatens you, move away slowly and quietly. Avoid waving your arms, swatting, or running.

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