While mosquitoes do most of their dirty work in tropical countries, they can spread a number of serious diseases in the United States, the most infamous being West Nile virus and several forms of encephalitis.
But—and this should get your attention, folks—more kinds of skeeters are heading our way and bringing their sinister baggage with them. A recent case in point: two Caribbean species that transmit the crippling chikungunya virus, which was first diagnosed here in 2014.
Despite wide differences in both severity and damage, all mosquito-borne diseases share similar early warning signs. So if you’re bitten by a skeeter and experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor ASAP:
- Low blood pressure
Spread or spray one of these DIY formulas on your skin to keep mosquitoes from having their wicked way with you:
- Straight rubbing alcohol
- A (gentler) half-and-half mix of rubbing alcohol and Avon Skin-So-Soft™ bath oil
- A half-and-half mix of water and pure, clear vanilla (available online and at health-food stores—not to be confused vanilla extract)
- Mentholated rub (This also a terrific tick repellent.)