Although winter is still upon us in, in full force, in many areas of the country, spring will be here before we know it. With springtime comes the onset of bugs – big bugs, little bugs; bugs that fly and bugs that crawl.
If you live in the Southeast, you are completely aware of this buggy transition that takes us into warmer weather. Along with more bugs, springtime in states like Alabama and Georgia also means plenty of rain, and that means plenty of mosquitoes, as well.
If you are allergic to mosquitoes, here are a few ideas on how to minimize the adverse effects of mosquito bites so you can still enjoy the great outdoors this spring and summer.
How Do You Know if You are Allergic?
Most people are not allergic to mosquito bites. Instead, the uncomfortable itching associated with the little red bumps mosquitoes create when they bite annoys us. In some cases, people experience the effects of an allergic reaction which may include the following:
A person who is extremely allergic could even suffer anaphylaxis – a potentially life-threatening condition that includes hives, faintness, wheezing or even swelling of the throat.
If you experience any of these adverse effects after being bitten by a mosquito, especially anaphylaxis, see your healthcare provider or visit the emergency room immediately if symptoms worsen or you are not able to breathe easily.
Minimize Exposure to Mosquitoes
Once you determine the severity of your allergy to mosquito bites, you can take precautions to help you avoid exposure to the pesky little insects:
1. Stay inside. Peak mosquito time is when it is dark outside, from dusk until dawn. If possible, stay indoors to minimize contact with a large number of bugs.
2. Stay away from stagnant water. This may seem like common sense, but it is worth mentioning. Mosquitoes like wet, moist, dark areas, so avoid shaded ponds or standing alongside a calm lake where mosquitoes are more likely to congregate.
3. Use bug spray when you are outside. If you are outside during the day, or at night, use safe bug sprays whenever possible. You can purchase popular mosquito sprays at a variety of stores, or you can research natural remedies online that you can either make at home with household ingredients. You can also purchase homeopathic remedies online, or from a local holistic retailer.
Although bug sprays that contain the chemical, DEET, are highly effective, they may also cause allergic reactions or skin and eye irritations. If you know you are allergic to mosquitoes and you do not want to risk an allergic reaction to DEET, stick to the homeopathic solutions and minimize your time outside during peak mosquito hours.
4. Hire a professional to control mosquitoes. Georgia lawn care professionals are well versed in insect prevention. Lawn care sites like www.arbor-nomics.com, can provide tips and ideas for minimizing mosquitoes in your yard, especially those that are prevalent in your area. You can even ask the service to spray your yard with a repellent so mosquitoes will want to set up camp elsewhere.
5. Avoid wearing bright colors and strong perfumes. Mosquitoes are attracted to bright, shiny objects and deliciously sweet smells. During mosquito season, if you know you will be outside for a festival or other outdoor activity, avoid brightly colored clothing and sweet perfumes.
Being allergic to mosquitoes does not have put a damper on your participation and enjoyment of springtime activities, even when you live in Georgia. With a few precautions and common sense, you can enjoy the warm weather and minimize the nasty side effects of insect bites all at the same time.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and Georgia native. She is well acquainted with the summer buzz of mosquitoes. I
Photo credit: http://flic.kr/p/dL2Wn