If you’re pregnant and you’ve noticed mosquitoes seem especially drawn to you this summer, it’s not your imagination. Scientists have discovered that pregnant women attract twice as many mosquitoes as your non-pregnant companions do. Why? Because they’re are drawn to carbon dioxide, and while you’re breathing for two, you’re also exhaling 21% more CO2. Not only are these pesky biters annoying, but as vectors for diseases that could be potentially dangerous for your baby (like Zika and Chikungunya), they pose a particular threat for you now. Here are some useful tips for safely avoiding the bite this summer.
Use Mosquito Repellent
One of the best ways to avoid mosquito bites, and the diseases they may carry, is by using a mosquito repellent. DEET and Picaridin are each registered with the EPA and are considered safe for pregnant and/or breastfeeding women to use. DEET is the most effective mosquito repellent by far, but Picaridin is a safe alternative. Spray all exposed skin, especially your feet and lower legs, as well as your clothing for added protection. The EPA does not recommend Lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 sprays for use during pregnancy. Be sure to consult with your doctor about the particular products you’re interested in using.
Stay Inside During Peak Mosquito Hours
Fortunately, the mosquitoes in Northeast Ohio aren’t as active during the peak daylight hours, which means you can venture outside during the day with more confidence you won’t be a mosquito’s next meal. With that being said, our mosquitoes do enjoy shade. So if you’re in an area that is surrounded by trees, you’re much more likely to encounter mosquitoes during the daytime and will need to take other precautions. Northeast Ohio’s mosquitoes are much more active during dawn and dusk, so you’ll want to be more cautious during those times. Mosquitoes in other parts of the world, regions where mosquitoes are more likely to carry diseases that are potential threats for your baby, are daylight biters. If you’re traveling this summer, be sure to research the local mosquito behavior and avoid peak mosquito times outdoors.
Wear Protective Clothing to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay
If the mosquitoes can’t get to your skin, they won’t be able to bite you. Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing that will limit your exposed skin, including long sleeves, pants and socks. Pay special attention to your ankles and the back of your neck. Studies have shown that these areas are especially tantalizing to mosquitoes, and you’re less likely to feel the bite in these areas.
Keep Your Property Free of Mosquitoes
You’ll likely be spending the most time in your own backyard this summer. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself is to make sure your own property is free of these pesky biters. You can do this in a few easy steps. Keep your shrubs and grass cut short. Clean your gutters and periodically scout your property for standing water which can quickly become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Children’s toys, flower pots, and gardening containers are some of the most common places water collects around your property. Most importantly, hire a professional to apply backpack misting treatments and scout your property for mosquito hotspots. Doing so will be the safest and most effective method for protecting yourself against mosquitoes during your pregnancy.
The experts at Skeeter-Treaters will carefully scout out and eliminate or address the mosquito hotspots in your backyard. Don’t spend your summer hiding indoors! Contact us to make your outdoors safe and enjoyable again!