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Learn how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and mosquito bites with these simple tips.
Find out more about protecting yourself from mosquitoes.
You can protect yourself from mosquitoes with some really quite simple and straightforward things. The virus is passed on by the female of the Aedes mosquito. This mosquito lives in warm and humid places. In cooler countries, it can’t survive, so there are countries where it’s not a problem.
The two things you need to do if you live in a Zika area is to get rid of the places the mosquito breeds – it lays its eggs in very small amounts of water, so any standing water needs to be got rid of – and then protect yourself from mosquito bites. This mosquito tends to bite during the day, unlike the mosquito that carries malaria, which usually bites at dusk, so it’s really important to protect yourself during the day from about mid-morning through to mid-afternoon or dusk; That’s when the mosquito will be out and about.
The most important thing is to get rid of the places that the mosquitoes breed. The female lays its eggs in very small amounts of water, even something as small as a soft-drink bottle top that’s got some water in it, so look around the places you live and remove any standing water; so that’s bottles, jars, even a vase of flowers with some water in it could attract these mosquitoes. Make sure that any water tanks are covered so the mosquitoes can’t get in. In many areas, there will be spraying organized to get rid of the mosquitoes, but you could do a check around your own house or your own building to make sure that standing water is got rid of to make sure that he mosquitoes can’t breed there.
If you have air conditioning, it’s going to be much cooler there, and so that will mean that the mosquito is not going to get in and be around. If you haven’t got air conditioning, use screens on your windows and doors to try and stop the mosquito coming in, and make sure you sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net – especially important if you’re sleeping during the day; if you’re having a rest or a nap, use the bed net to stop the mosquito getting through.
The other really important thing to do is to use an insect repellent on your skin. DEET up to 50% is safe to use during pregnancy, and any exposed pieces of skin need to be covered in insect repellent. Also wear light-colored clothes (mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors), and make sure you’ve got long sleeves and long trousers, so there’s nowhere the insect can get in to bite you.