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If you spend time outdoors during the summer, you will have to contend with mosquitoes. Getting bitten can be unpleasant and can spread diseases. Here are some tips to protect yourself and your family.

Block Out Mosquitoes
If you like to open your windows to let a breeze into your home, you need to be careful not to let mosquitoes in, too. Use screens to keep them out. If you go camping, a mosquito net can keep the pests away while you sleep. 

Clean Up Your Yard
Mosquitoes can breed in tiny amounts of standing water. Walk around your yard frequently, especially after it rains, and look for any objects, such as a flowerpot, a bird bath or a wheelbarrow, that can have stagnant water inside. If you find any standing water, dump it out to avoid attracting mosquitoes. Trim your grass regularly and remove leaves and other debris that can serve as a home for the insects. 

Limit Your Exposure
Mosquitoes can bite people at any time, but they are more likely to do so around dawn and dusk. If possible, stay indoors during those periods to avoid being bitten. If you have to go outside at those times, take other precautions to protect yourself, such as bug spray or citronella candles.

Wear Clothes That Will Help Keep Mosquitoes Away
Darker colors attract insects such as mosquitoes, so avoid those colors if you plan to spend time gardening, hiking or participating in other outdoor activities. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes, and choose thick fabrics and loose-fitting clothing to reduce your chance of being bitten. 

Use a Safe and Effective Repellent
Look for a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, PMD, picaridin or IR3535. DEET is effective and safe for everyone, even children. PMD is safe for children over 3 years old. Picaridin is safe to use on babies 2 months or older. 

You can also buy a natural mosquito repellent that contains oil of lemon eucalyptus. It is safe to use on children over 3. Don’t confuse oil of lemon eucalyptus with an essential oil called pure oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is not a mosquito repellent.

Apply sunscreen before mosquito repellent. Don’t apply repellent to skin that is injured or irritated. When spraying yourself with mosquito repellent, focus on areas with thin skin that mosquitoes tend to target, such as the feet, ankles, lower legs and wrists.

Be careful not to get repellent in your eyes or mouth. To apply repellent to your face, spray some on your hands, then rub it on like sunscreen. After you have put on mosquito repellent, wash your hands.

Apply repellent for children. Don’t use mosquito repellent on babies less than 2 months old. You can use a mosquito net if you plan to spend time outdoors with a child who is too young to use an insect repellent.

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