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How can I avoid mosquito bites?

Covering up and using mosquito repellents can help you avoid mosquito bites. If you are traveling, ask your doctor if you should consider getting any vaccines before your trip.

Mosquito facts:

  • They don’t like to travel. Their flight ranges between 1 and 3 miles from where they hatched. The Aedes aegypti mosquito stays within 400 meters (0.25 miles).
  • Only female mosquitoes bite. They need blood to develop their eggs.
  • A mosquito can pick up a disease when it feeds on the blood of an infected person or animal.
  • They find us by sensing the carbon dioxide we exhale. Movement and heat also help them locate us.
  • Only certain species spread diseases.

Mosquito Repellents

The CDC evaluated information about several repellents registered by EPA, and found that these four active ingredients typically provide 'reasonably' longer-lasting protection:

Always read and follow the product label. It tells us about the product's toxicity with signal words. It tells us how much and how often to apply the product, and it lists precautions. Some skin repellents may include the repellency awareness graphic, which can help you select an insect repellent. Repellents that don’t have an EPA Registration number on the label may not have been evaluated for their effectiveness.

Avoiding mosquito bites

All of the following options may prevent mosquito bites:

All mosquitoes are NOT the same

Mosquitoes can be found almost everywhere. The species described below prefer to breed during warm weather.

Mosquitoes and Zika

In the US, there have been reports of Zika virus in travelers returning from countries with Zika outbreaks and also, locally acquired mosquito-borne cases.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated August 15, 2016

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