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How to Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes

Did you know that there are over 3000 different kinds of mosquitoes in the world today? 

The mosquito is one of the deadliest creatures in the world.  The mosquito itself is not a killer, but they are a vector or carrier for a number of deadly diseases for humans.  Mosquito-borne diseases cause over a million deaths worldwide each year, with a vast majority of those diseases effecting the elderly and our youth.

The majority of mosquito-borne diseases that cause the most deaths worldwide are transferred from three individual species of mosquitoes.  The Anopheles mosquitoes are the only mosquito that carries malaria, and they are also known to carry filariasis (elephantiasis) and encephalitis.  The Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus.  The Aedes mosquitoes, including the Asian Tiger mosquito, carry yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis.  These mosquitoes carry disease through parasites attached to their body or through virus coming into the mosquito and then being transferred back to a new host through the saliva of the mosquito.

We know that mosquitoes as a vector are a tremendous killer of humans through carrying and transferring these diseases.  There are trillions of these flying insects worldwide.  What most people don’t understand is that mosquitoes are a major source of food and a strategic part of the ecosystem.  Bats, birds, fish, animals, dragonflies, frogs and more eat mosquitoes and the bodies of mosquitoes in the dirt and waters of our world create nutrients for many species.  Looking at current numbers, scientists are telling us that mosquitoes are increasing with higher global temperatures. 

Mosquitoes have a life cycle of eggs, larva, pupa and adult.  The eggs are laid on the water surface and then descend into the water, feeding on algae and organic material.  They then rise as a pupa and then into adult flying insects.  It is the females that bite the skin and feed on the blood of animals and humans.  Horses, cattle and wildlife are the primary sources of blood for mosquitoes, although some hunters would swear they are the primary target of these biting insects.  The female mosquito transfers saliva into the host during the bite which causes a rash and transmits pathogens to these new hosts. 

The vast majority of efforts to decrease mosquitoes have failed dramatically.  Insecticides that have been used to kill adult mosquitoes across the world work in the short term but ultimately create vacuums that new mosquitoes come into within a few days.  All mosquitoes need water to be able to survive which is why you don’t see many mosquitoes in the desert, but jungles, rivers and farmland are filled with mosquitoes which is a vast majority of the places folks hunt. 

Some people are actually mosquito magnets.  These folks produce more carbon dioxide and lactic acid and are more filled with energy.  Individuals with a high metabolic rate attract more mosquitoes and folks exerting energy will attract more mosquitoes which is exactly what happens to hunters. 

In the past, people have used DEET to prevent mosquito bites, but DEET has been proven unsafe for young children and the elderly.  Although DEET has been approved by the EPA some people experience rashes, irritated skin, irritated eyes and a tingling sensation.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against the use of DEET on infants and that pregnant women minimize the use of DEET.  As well, DEET is a plasticizer which acts like a solvent which promotes plasticity and eats through plastic and paints.  Spill DEET in your tackle box or tent and everything it touches will be destroyed.  Why would you put that on your skin?

The safe alternative to DEET is Picaridin. Picaridin is a synthetic compound derived from the natural compound piperine, found in the group of plants used to produce black pepper. It was developed in the 1980s by German scientists looking for a safer, better alternative to DEET. Unlike DEET, Picaridin insect repellent can be safely applied to the skin and does not damage clothing or gear. We recommend Ranger Ready Picaridin 20% Scent Zero as our primary body-worn insect repellent. 

Ranger Ready’s Picaridin 20% contains zero scent which works perfectly for hunters. It lasts 12 hours and provides protection against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and other biting insects.  We recommend Picaridin, as does the CDC.  We also recommend Ranger Ready’s Permethrin 0.5% for your clothes in combination with Picaridin, which is why we choose the P2 Pak from Ranger Ready.

Protecting yourself and your family from mosquitoes means protecting yourself from West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Filariasis (Elephantiasis) and Encephalitis.  You want to make sure that you protect your family with the safest alternative against mosquitoes. Protect yourself with Ranger Ready Repellents.

Kevin Paulson

Kevin Paulson is the Founder and CEO of HuntingLife.com. His passion for Hunting began at the age of 5 hunting alongside of his father. Kevin has followed his dreams through outfitting, conservation work, videography and hunting trips around the world.

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