Preventing mosquito bites and the potential for infection with West Nile virus and other viruses requires wearing insect repellent and covering up when outdoors, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Keeping windows and doors shut and using air conditioning also keeps mosquitoes outside and prevents bites.
Wearing insect repellent products is the best way to guard against mosquito bites. Children, pregnant women and others should apply insect repellent when going outdoors, camping or visiting places where mosquitoes frequent. Products with a high percent of specific active ingredients are recommended for longer-lasting repellent effects.
Products containing DEET, including Skintastic, Cutter and OFF!, are recommended by the CDC. Other products that contain picaridin, which is also known as icaridin, Bayrepel and KBR 3023, also work well, including Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus from Avon and Cutter Advanced. Products with oil of lemon eucalyptus, or OLE, are also good options that are found in brands like OFF! Botanicals and Repel. Another option is products with IR3535, found in SkinSmart and Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition products.
Covering up by wearing long-sleeved tops and full-length pants can stave off mosquito bites. The CDC also recommends using its Traveler's Health website to determine if mosquitoes are a problem that requires advance preparation and special safeguards prior to traveling to foreign countries.