Will These Protect You From the Zika Virus?
By Sara Butler
The Zika virus has certainly been in the headlines lately, and it is quite a concerning topic. Zika is a mosquito-borne illness that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conclude is responsible for birth defects in unborn babies that can even result in death. Over the summer, cases have been popping up in the United States, most recently in Miami, Florida.
Due to all this, you may be searching for ways to protect you and your family from mosquitoes. There are a plethora of products on the market that claim to keep mosquitoes away, but will they protect you from the mosquitoes that carry Zika? Here is a breakdown of products that claim to protect against mosquitoes -- but may not.
These products seem very convenient, but it often doesn’t offer the protection it promises against mosquitoes. The American Mosquito Control Association says that mosquito repelling wristbands aren’t effective at all in deterring mosquitoes from making you their next target. The small amount of repellent released from the band is just not enough to protect you.
These devices are marketed as electromagnetic sound shields that keep mosquitoes away. While this is a grand idea, it fails to really keep mosquitoes away from you. It’s not an idea that has been demonstrated to work or one that is backed by any kind of science. It’s definitely a case of something that is too good to be true!
You may have read about plants that keep mosquitoes away such as lavender or peppermint. This is a nice smelling idea, but it won’t work to keep you safe from Zika. There’s been no real study to prove any claims that plants deter mosquitoes, so keep the plants in your garden for their beauty but use something else for bugs.
Citronella has been around for a while, and it does have some mild impact on keeping mosquitoes away but it’s not going to offer you the protection you need when you’re outside. Use the candles for ambiance, but not protection.
In the End, Cover Up
One of the tried-and-true ways to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes is to use EPA approved bug spray and cover your skin with long sleeves and pants when you’re outside. Also, make your home inhospitable to mosquitoes by making sure there’s no standing water on or around your property. Even the smallest amount of standing water can be a perfect place for mosquitoes to multiply.