Your Health: How To Avoid Mosquito Bites

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Story Updated: Jun 3, 2013

When the weather gets warm, the mosquitoes come out to feed on you.

While itching is usually the end reaction, mosquitoes can also spread the potentially serious West Nile virus as well Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which is rare in humans, but potentially life threatening. 

Jeff Leiendecker of Jefferson County Public Health says the best defense is to eliminate free-standing water which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

"Common locations are clogged gutters, flower pots. A lot of the pots will have the catch tray at the bottom. That will catch the water, but it's a prime location for mosquitoes to breed," he said.

Leiendecker said it's important to dump out water which may have collected in gutters, pots or even children's toys.

Even with these precautions, contact with mosquitoes is inevitable. 

Having your skin covered with lightweight clothing will help prevent a bite.

"Use a bug repellent with DEET, definitely follow the label on that and, if possible, apply it to clothing," said Leiendecker.

If you are bitten, avoid scratching by applying hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.

To prevent standing water from being a breeding ground for mosquitoes, a natural product called Mosquito Dunks can be used.

Tablets kill mosquito larvae but are non-toxic to wildlife and pets.

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