Believe it or not, we Minnesotan's are lucky that our mosquitoes only bite. Elsewhere in the world, mosquitoes are still regarded as the most dangerous creature in the world. According to Institute for Global Health, mosquitoes kill approximately 700,000 humans per year. This is due to the various diseases that they carry and can transmit to humans. So it’s important to take precautions to protect yourselves form them.
History of the Mosquito
Mosquitoes are one of the oldest recorded pests in human history. The ancient Egyptians were the first group to ever record data on them. Ancient tablets have been found that provide us with dates of mosquito outbreaks and warnings of the diseases they carry.
But our records of mosquitoes go much further back than that. Fossils have shown us that modern mosquitoes have been around for about 79 million years. That means that there is little difference between today’s mosquitoes and they ones alive during the dinosaur age.
Despite being millions of years old, these ancient creatures have an incredibly short lifespan. Their lives start when a female mosquito lays her eggs (Sometimes up to 200 at a time) on the surface of water. Then their life span consists of 4 stages – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The average lifespan of a mosquito is between 10-14 days.
Why are Mosquito’s Dangerous?
Mosquitoes have the ability to carry diseases, and infect whatever they bite. Every year, mosquito spread malaria alone kills 400,000 people. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue, which causes 50 to 100 million cases per year worldwide, yellow fever, which has a high mortality rate, or Japanese encephalitis, which causes more than 10,000 deaths per year, mostly in Asia. Not to forget Zika virus, with it’s recently described devastating and long-term neurological effects in babies born to infected mothers.
How to Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes
According to Wirecutter, the best bug repellent spray is Cutter Backwoods Dry. You can read about the other 10 it tested here.
Here are some natural tips to defend yourself from bites. It’s actually relatively easy to protect yourselves from them. Just follow a few simple guidelines to keep yourself safe while camping.
Wear light colored clothes
Mosquitoes are attracted by darker colors so keeping your outdoor clothing selection light can help you from mosquito bites.
Wear appropriate clothing
The mosquito usually bites on the areas of skin which are exposed.
Use mosquito repellents
Mosquito repellents do not kill the mosquitoes, but they keep them away from you. These chemical based sprays and creams have been proven to be very effective.
Avoiding peak mosquito hours
Normally the mosquitoes are more active at the time of dawn and dusk. This is the time when the air breeze is low, and the temperature is cool, so the mosquitoes become active.
Special attention for babies
Babies require a little more time and effort when it comes to mosquito protection, because they are unable to swat mosquitoes away from their body, and some repellents may or may not be safe for their young and delicate skin. Your best bet is to keep a close eye on babies while camping, or you can try investing in portable mosquito net designed for baby use.
While mosquitoes are can be dangerous, it’s important to know that getting bite by one itself the end of the world. Chances are you and your children have been vaccinated for most diseases that mosquitoes carry. Happy Camping and Stay Safe!