Just when you thought it was safe to head back outside, you spot the first of those little menaces. Or maybe you hear it, buzzing right by your rear.
It’s those darned mosquitoes, back for another bite. And now you don’t have to just worry about the typical itching and scratching. You have to worry about something else, too.
“Could that mosquito give me coronavirus?”
Mosquitoes have an enormous appetite. They will bite and drink blood until they’re full. And if you shoo them away, they’ll find another victim.
This person-to-person contact through a mosquito would seem like a PERFECT recipe for spreading an infection… especially one as virulent as COVID-19.
But the truth might help you enjoy your summer a whole lot more.
The truth about SKEETERS and coronavirus
Since COVID-19 is a brand new bug in humans, we’re still learning new things about it every day. But what we DO know is it’s largely a respiratory infection, and the virus lives and grows in the respiratory tract.
You most likely catch it by inhaling it through your nose and mouth. Or potentially being exposed to it through the eyes.
But the coronavirus is NOT generally found widely in blood. So even if a mosquito bites someone with the infection and then bites you, the odds of transmission are pretty low.
In fact, according to the World Health Organization mosquitoes CAN’T spread the COVID-19 infection. Just as importantly, there are simply no known cases where the likely source of infection was a mosquito bite (or even a tick bite for that matter).
But, here comes the but…
Just because mosquitoes aren’t likely carriers of coronavirus DOESN’T mean you shouldn’t have concerns about them. There are still plenty of other dangerous infections spread by their bites.
We’ve already had our first West Nile outbreaks of the season in several states. And there are, no doubt, more to come. They also spread Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and more.
In other words, the only GOOD skeeter is a DEAD skeeter.
Tips to keep the mosquitoes at bay
The real issue is how to kill the bugs. Because the most common sprays and solutions might be great at wiping out the mosquitoes. But they can also be toxic to you and me.
Avoid DEET and other chemicals, and instead, take more proactive measures to keep the bugs at bay.
- Rid your yard of ANY sources of standing water as well as places where it can pool after rain. Even a little puddle in an upturned garbage lid will give them room to breed rapidly.
- If you have a water feature, use a pump to keep it flowing or fill it with fish that eat mosquitoes and mosquito eggs.
- You can also add bug-repellent plants to your yard. Mosquitoes absolutely HATE lavender, lemongrass, and geraniums, for example.
- Also, if you’re going to be outside in the evenings, light citronella candles and spray yourself – ideally on clothing, not skin – with a nontoxic repellent.
Pure oil of lemon eucalyptus products (look for OLE or para-menthane-diol on the label) can be very effective against mosquitoes. Other good ingredients include cedarwood, peppermint, and lemongrass.