Interesting Ways Of Preventing Mosquito Bites

shutterstock_110504471Mosquitoes are pesky insects that can easily ruin your day outdoors. You may be expecting some fun and exciting activity to do out in the sun. But the bothersome pests can make you think otherwise. There are many ways that you can prevent mosquito bites. Here are some unique and interesting ways that you might want to try out.

Use dryer sheets from the laundry.

If you do not have any mosquito repellant available, there is a substitute that you can try- fabric softener dryer sheets. Gardeners have long been using dryer sheets to fend off mosquitoes. They fill their pockets with it when they go out and work in gardens. Researchers believe that dryer sheets contain compounds that repel mosquitoes as well as gnats. Compounds called linalool and beta-citronellol are effective repellents that are found on dryer sheets.

Wash your feet.

If mosquitoes are pestering you, try washing your feet. Foot odor seems to attract mosquitoes. That may be one reason why so any of them try to target your feet and legs when they bite. According to a study, about 75 percent of mosquitoes target the feet. But upon washing the feet using deodorant soap, mosquitoes tend to bite indiscriminately. Foot odor may attract many mosquitoes. In addition, the study also found out that stinky cheese, especially those that smell similar to foot odor, also hold the same effect on mosquitoes.

Stay indoors on a full moon.

If you do not wish to be pestered by mosquito bites in the evenings, it is a good idea to stay indoors when you see a full moon. Mosquito experts say that mosquito activity increases by as much as 500 percent on a full moon. Most of the time, mosquito activity tends to increase at dusk or at dawn. But when you see a full moon make sure you have ample protection against mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents, light colored clothing are long sleeved shirt and pants. Better yet, try to stay indoors with the windows closed or screened to keep away the mosquitoes.

Interesting Things That Drive Away Mosquitoes

shutterstock_148749425It is mosquito season once again and people may be expecting the insects to have a go at biting them. The heat of summer is bringing out the mosquitoes in droves. Insect bites become more common during this time. But the problem is that mosquitoes also become carriers of certain diseases, which can be passed on to humans, one of which is the West Nile virus. Spraying insecticides indoors or use mosquito repellent lotion while working or playing outdoors are some of the usual methods of keeping the mosquitoes at bay. But aside from insecticides and mosquito repellents, there are also other surprising items that can help you drive away or get rid of those pesky mosquitoes. Here are some of them.


There are plants that can repel away mosquitoes. There are others like marigolds that even produce insecticidal compounds that can kill mosquitoes. Other plants produce compounds like lemon grass that repel mosquitoes and keep them at bay. You can plant a variety of these plants and other herbs in your garden to help keep those mosquitoes out. Plants, herbs and flowers also attract natural predators such as dragonflies, toads, and birds that can help decimate mosquito populations in your backyard.

Electric Fan

You may not know it but that electric fan can help repel the mosquitoes in your immediate surroundings according to experts, mosquitoes become less active in areas where wind gusts are more than 10 miles per hour. Putting your electric fan on high and directed at you will have that same effect. Not only that, an electric fan can also help dissipate the carbon dioxide that you exhale which is known to attract the mosquitoes. In the same way, it also reduces body heat, which mosquitoes use to detect human presence.


Bats are the natural predators of mosquitoes. They can help in reducing mosquito populations by including them as part of their diet. You can install bat houses around your home to attract them and help you control those pesky mosquitoes. There are certain species like the little brown bat that can eat from somewhere between 500 to a thousand mosquitoes in a matter of an hour. That is a natural way to help you control the insect population and prevent them from becoming a disturbance.


Another effective way of getting rid of mosquitoes is by targeting their breeding grounds. Whenever there are pools of standing water, you can be sure that they contain mosquito larvae. Other possible breeding grounds include water tanks, swimming pools, birdbaths, decorative ponds and many more. You can use bacteria to get rid of the larvae and prevent them from developing into adult mosquitoes.

Mosquito dunks contain a specific type of bacteria that is lethal to mosquito larvae but is harmless to humans. You can use them whenever there are potential mosquito breeding grounds in your surroundings. But most of all, try to get rid of any standing water you find to reduce the number of mosquito breeding grounds.

12 Human West Nile Virus Cases Reported In Mississippi

shutterstock_86061532According to the updated report from the Mississippi State Department of Health, there have been 12 total human cases of the West Nile Virus reported in the state of Mississippi for 2013 so far. The highest number of human cases currently reported is in Forrest County with a total of three. The counties of Bolivar, Hinds, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, and Wayne each reported a single human WNV case.

Of that total, two deaths were reported so far. One death was reported in Bolivar County and the other in Montgomery. It is possible that there are other cases of human WNV infections statewide that have gone unreported for now that were not included in the current update.  The human WNV case counts reported are based solely on laboratory-confirmed cases.

Mississippi is considered as one of the states with the most number of human WNV cases reported in 2012. There were a total of 247 human cases reported last year with a total of 5 deaths.

Because of this, the state is encouraging its citizens to take precautions in trying to reduce WNV risk in their area. People are advised to get rid of standing water, which becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. People are also urged to wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants while going outdoors in the summer weather. The use of mosquito repellents can also help prevent mosquito bites, especially during peak times from dusk until dawn when mosquitoes come out.

Source: Mississippi State Department of Health

West Nile Virus Detected At Northampton, EEE Virus At Amherst

shutterstock_140998627It is the summer season once again. While everybody is excited spending time in the summer weather for a change, there are also some concerns brewing. Summer also brings in the mosquitoes so the bugs may be out more than usual. The worst thing is that they might also bring the West Nile virus threat back at the forefront. Some areas in the US have already been showing evidence that its back.

According to the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts, the West Nile virus was detected this Tuesday from mosquitoes collected from Northampton. In addition, the DPH also discovered the Eastern equine encephalitis or EEE virus from mosquitoes collected in Amherst. This was the first confirmed instance that an EEE virus was detected in Amherst this year. This places the town at moderate risk for the virus. Fortunately, no human cases for the two mosquito-borne viruses have been reported so far this year.

The West Nile virus has been a problem for many states during the summer months. The virus has become quite common during this time of the year and can be found both in the rural as well as the urban areas. Mosquitoes infected by the West Nile virus can pass it on to humans. Those who are at risk of getting infected are people over the age of 50 years old. It can cause illnesses such as mild fever to more serious conditions such as encephalitis and meningitis. Many of the people who become infected with the West Nile virus usually show no symptoms.

Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare but very serious disease that can spread via a mosquito infected by the virus. People under 15 years old and those over 50 are at most risk if being infected, especially those with weakened immune systems. An EEE infection is characterized by flulike symptoms with high fevers and headaches. Serious infections may cause neck stiffness, convulsions, loss of eyesight and even coma.

While the situation remains normal for now without any human cases reported, the Northhampton Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and provide residents with updates. The current West Nile and EEE virus incidence in both Northampton and Amherst is not unusual as of now. There is no need to panic but experts advise that residents may consider taking precautions. They can avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves shirts with pants and socks when going out. People should also avoid peak mosquito hours, which is from dusk to dawn. Using safe mosquito repellents when going out will also help keep the mosquitoes at bay and reduce the risk of being infected.

Source: Gazettenet

West Nile Virus Deaths in United States Increased by 19%

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of confirmed deaths due to West Nile virus this year rose to 19% this week to 219 in United States. The total number of cases, meanwhile, was up 4% to 4,725.

According to Marc Fischer, medical epidemiologist working in CDC’s Fort Collins, Colorado, laboratory, the center may release the full report of cases and deaths as early as next year. “It takes a lot of time for them to trickle from the local doctor to the local hospital to the state health department to the CDC.”

Close to 70% of the cases have been centered in eight states namely Texas (which has over one-third of the total), California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan, and Oklahoma.

This year marks the second worst West Nile virus outbreak on record, CDC says, and it is possible that it may overtake the outbreak back in 2003 in terms of deaths. In 2003, there were 9,862 cases with 264 deaths.

Fischer explained that numbers in 2003 could be in “disproportion” as West Nile virus tests were first commercially available in 2003, which tested a lot of patients in some states (particularly in the West) and less in others.

Because the weather begins to turn colder, mosquito activity starts to wane and so do the number of infections.

Source: USA Today

Alberta Reports First West Nile Death Since 2007

The Canadian province of Alberta has confirmed that one of its residents died due to West Nile virus), the first since 2007.

The Alberta Health Services did not reveal much about the victim, except that the casualty lives in the southern part of the province. As of this posting, there are 10 cases of West Nile reported this year, seven of which are located in the southern half of Alberta.

“Sadly, as we’ve seen in Alberta this year, West Nile virus infection can cause severe illness and even death,” says Dr. Gerry Predy, a senior medical officer of health for the province.

Symptoms of infection from West Nile virus include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, skin rash, swollen glands, and headache. A small number of cases may develop into neurological symptoms such as tremors, drowsiness, confusion, swallowing problems, and unconsciousness that may lead to paralysis and death.

More information on the West Nile virus, prevention, and treatment can be found on the provincial website,

Source: CBC

Upcoming Cold Weather Seen To Slow Down West Nile Virus

With the country already experiencing the worst West Nile virus epidemic since 2002, slowing it down seems to help provide some relief to many concerned individuals. With the cold weather slowly coming in, it is expected to slow down the virus from creating new cases. This will help ease down many worries over the seemingly increasing number of West Nile virus cases in many affected states.

The first hard frost of the season may signal the end to the West Nile season. But it puts an end to what would be the worst epidemic with a total of 3,969 cases diagnosed nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It also resulted in as total of 163 fatalities. This year’s hot and dry summer is partly to blame for the recent spike of West Nile virus cases.

West Nile disease has been a concern for many people since it is quite difficult to determine. Those infected may suffer from what may be just a mild to high fever. But the symptoms may be common with a number of other conditions. It may take a visit to the doctor in order to determine if it is a West Nile virus infection.

While the West Nile virus may infect people of all ages, it is usually fatal if it infect the very old or the very young. Mosquitoes have been known as the main culprit of spreading the disease. Preventing contact with mosquitoes as much as possible will help reduce the spread of the virus. Using mosquito repellents containing DEET and wearing protective long-sleeved clothing are the common ways of trying to prevent getting infected with the West Nile virus.

Chicago Fire Officer Succumbs to West Nile Virus

A Chicago Fire Department lieutenant died Thursday (October 4) from West Nile virus, which he contracted from a mosquito bite two weeks prior.

Lt. Thomas Flahive, 58, was bitten by mosquito during a family trip to Wisconsin, according to the city’s Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford.

The firefighters of Engine Company 108 from the Milwaukee and Laramie firehouse said they never thought a large guy like Flahive would succumb due to a mosquito bite. After being bitten, Flahive exhibited flu-like symptoms, then slipped into a coma and suffered irreversible brain damage before breathing his last.

He is survived by his wife and three adult children. His family has decided to donate his brain so it would be utilized for West Nile virus research and how it affects the human body.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported 179 cases of humans infected with West Nile virus this year, resulting in six deaths.

Source: Fox News

San Francisco Reports 1st West Nile Virus Case in 7 Years

Public health officials in San Francisco has reported that one of its residents is infected with West Nile virus, the first human case of this potentially fatal disease in seven years. Not much details were revealed about the patient except that he is a man who got infected on September 14 and is now recovering at home.

Health officials added that the patient did not travel extensively prior to the infection, making it highly likely that he was infected by a mosquito in the Bay Area.

This case adds up to what could be the largest outbreak of West Nile in the United States since the disease arrived in the country 13 years ago. Over 3,000 cases have been reported throughout the country so far this year, including 165 in California and four in the Bay Area.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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Rhode Island Remains West Nile Virus-Free

Latest tests in Rhode Island show that the state bears no signs of West Nile virus or Eastern equine encephalitis.

The latest report from the state Department of Environmental Management released Monday indicates that 116 mosquito samples taken from traps set throughout the state during the week of September 10 yielded negative results.

However, one sample of mosquitoes in the town of Westerly during the same period had been confirmed positive for West Nile, while another set of mosquitoes sampled in Warren showed traces of EEE.

State officials have reminded residents to take precaution against getting bitten by infected mosquitoes, even though night-time temperatures have fallen.