West Nile Virus Home > Preventing Mosquito Bites

Can mosquito bites be prevented? In many cases, the answer is yes. Insect repellent, protective clothing, and being aware of peak mosquito hours are all important steps you can take to reduce your risk. Other forms of prevention involve reporting dead birds to local authorities and getting involved with local mosquito control programs.

An Introduction to Preventing Mosquito Bites

Public activities, such as using products to kill mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes, are one part of mosquito control.
There are also steps a person can take in order to reduce the risk of mosquito bites. These prevention strategies include:
  • Using insect repellent
  • Wearing protective clothing
  • Being aware of peak mosquito hours
  • Mosquito-proofing one's home
  • Helping the community.

Using Insect Repellent for Mosquito Bite Prevention

In order to reduce your risk of mosquito bites, use insect repellent on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent, such as one with DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Even being outdoors for a short time can be long enough to get a mosquito bite.
Use double protection: wear long sleeves during peak mosquito biting hours, and spray repellent directly onto your clothes.

Wearing Protective Clothing

Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will provide extra protection. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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