The Jersey shore is home to thousands of amazing species of wildlife. Unfortunately, this also includes a few species of mosquitoes, whose bites cause an irritating itch and have the potential to spread life-threatening diseases like malaria or the recently discovered Zika virus. While the East coast is not a high-risk area for either, it’s best to eliminate the possibility by avoiding bites in the first place. Here are some Jersey shore mosquito bite prevention tips on how to make sure these buggers leave you alone.
The most popular way to prevent mosquito bites is also one of the most effective. While you’re outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, apply a store-bought repellent. You can find it easily at a camping or sporting goods store.
The most common active ingredients are DEET, picardin, IR 3535, diethyl phthalate, diethyl carbate, and metofluthrin. Many consumers harbor concerns about adverse effects from DEET, but numerous studies have shown that complications only arise for a minority of users. Still, if you would like to stay on the safe side, apply DEET primarily on clothing and avoid use on young children.
You can generally reapply every few hours for continued protection. Use higher concentrations of the active ingredient if you’re in higher risk areas like forests or swamps. Don’t forget your feet! Some mosquitoes fly low to the ground to avoid the wind and enjoy biting the thin skin on your ankles. Do not apply to open wounds.
Use natural remedies
If you’re completely against using chemical repellents, there are some natural remedies that have demonstrated varying levels of effectiveness. Oils from lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, castor, rosemary, cedar, soybean, neem, citronella, tea tree, and peppermint are common. Others use garlic, catnip, or lavender.
Cover up with light clothing
If mosquitoes can’t get to your skin, they can’t bite you! It may be hot out, but long sleeves and pant legs leave less skin exposed to mosquito mouths. It’s best if the clothing is loose so that if mosquitoes bite through it, they’ll be less likely to reach skin. Thick or tightly woven fabrics are harder for mosquitoes to penetrate as well.
Wearing lighter colors keeps you cool, which is helpful because mosquitoes are attracted to warmer bodies. Staying in breezy areas also keeps you cool and prevents mosquitoes from flying. Lighter colors also make you stand out less to mosquitoes, since they like darker colors.
Mosquito nets and screens
Mosquito nets are cheap and effective at keeping mosquitoes out of certain areas like beds or tents. If you have window screens or screen doors, keep them closed and make sure there are no tears that mosquitoes could slip through.
Avoid stagnant water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so if you stay away from that, you’ll avoid major mosquito breeding grounds. Some common sources or stagnant water are lakes, marshes, swamps, pools, clogged storm drains, buckets, trashcans, birdbaths, flower pots, or any outdoor containers that collect water.
Use lethal force
If all else fails, you might have to kill any mosquitoes you notice on your body with your bare hands or, better yet, a cheap swatter. It might leave a gross mark, but it’s better than having an itchy mosquito bite for days!
This information should help keep mosquitoes at bay this summer. Be sure to share these Jersey shore mosquito bite prevention tips with any shore-goers you know. Sign up for our newsletters for more Jersey shore vacation advice!