Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Avoid, treat mosquito bites when on the trail

Photo courtesy of
Wisconsin DNR.
The burning bites of mosquitoes are more of a nuisance than anything, but they can carry deadly diseases, such as West Nile virus.

To avoid mosquito bites, stay away from water at dusk and early evening when the bugs tend to come out. You also can wear hats with flaps and tie a loose bandana around the neck to keep the pesky little critters away. Don’t hike in areas heavily infested with mosquitoes, such as near old tire dumps that can hold sitting water and thus are the bug’s breeding grounds. Finally, if you see a swarm of mosquitoes, expect there to be more swarms and move away.

Treat a mosquito bite as you would a typical bug bite: wash with soap and water, apply an anti-itch cream, hydrocortisone or Neosporin with Lydocain, and don’t itch.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.