Rule number one, insects rule the Everglades. There are nine different specific insects that can ruin your vacation to the Everglades. They include biting flies, chiggers, deer flies, yellow flies and horse flies, fire ants, fleas and ticks, mites that attack humans, mosquitoes, and finally, wasps and bees.

Since there are twenty-seven different species of mosquitoes in Florida, they lead the pack of the most annoying. As everyone knows, they cause itchy bites and can transmit viruses.

Viruses they transmit include the St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile virus encephalitis, dengue fever, and zika. In order to avoid being bit, one must take all precautions available.

For the mosquitoes that carry any type of encephalitis, their peak activity is around dusk and dawn. They prefer calm, shady, and humid areas. A mosquito that carries dengue fever, they are daytime biters and stay close to containers during their immature stages.

While the best way to avoid mosquito bites is to wear protective layers, it not always possible. Without protective layers, you will need a repellent. The repellents don’t kill the mosquitoes, they just repel them. You’ll want a repellent that contains DEET and Picaridin. Both have been determined safe by the EPA.

Best use of repellents are as follows:

  • Only use repellents approved by the EPA. (The container should have an EPA-approved label and registration number.)
  • Follow label directions.
  • Repellents differ in application frequencies. Do not over apply.
  • Only apply repellents to exposed skin, not skin covered by clothing.
  • Do not apply to mouth, eyes, cuts, and wounds, or sunburned or irritated skin.

Some feel by eating things such as garlic, vitamins, onions will make you less attractive to mosquitoes, unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence for this theory. What determines if a mosquito is attracted to you is a complex interaction of many chemical and visual signals.

As far as the bug zappers that use UV light to lure mosquitoes into an electrocuting trap, studies have determined they work better on moths and beetles.

Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed. This includes puddles, fish ponds, bird baths, rain barrels, used tires, leaf-clogged drains, and plant saucers.

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