5 ways to avoid mosquito bites

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It's the season for mosquitoes in many parts of the United States.

Mosquitoes may carry serious diseases, including West Nile, which can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.  West Nile has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States since it was first discovered in 1999. More commonly, sufferers experience flu-like symptoms.

And last summer, the first case of Chikungunya that wasn't caused by a mosquito overseas happened in Florida.

A mosquito can lay 200 eggs that hatch a week later.

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Here are five things you can do to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Time your outings outside: Most breeds of mosquito are at their peak biting time during dusk and dawn.
  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Clean out your pools. Watch for pooling water. Be careful around ponds and lakes.
  • Wearing white clothing and avoiding flowery perfumes can help make you less attractive to the feeders.
  • Use chemical-free repellents to ward off mosquitoes.
  • Create gardens full of plants that repel mosquitoes: Citronella, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Marigolds, Basil, Lavendar, Peppermint, Rosemary and Geranium.

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