Not feeling the bite until it’s too late, plus the itching. Then the annoying sound of their buzz drives you crazy. These are just some of the reasons we all hate mosquitoes. No one wants to be a meal for miniature vampires who might leave you with a disease.
Is mud a good mosquito repellent? Unfortunately, mud is a mediocre mosquito repellent at best. If you coat your body thickly enough to keep the bugs out then, you’re covered in drying mud. You need to reapply often and stay moist to avoid cracking your protective layer. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if something works when it’s not practical.
More than a nuisance, mosquitoes are a source of illness and danger to humans. Even animals are at risk, so don’t forget to protect fido and fluffy during mosquito season. Mosquitos can carry heartworm.
Avoiding unnecessary illness and preventable death is one of those common-sense things, so few people think about regularly. Unsurprisingly, anyone who’s seen the Hunger Games knows that most survivors aren’t going to die from murders. Instead, they die from a lack of sense and necessary skills.
For humans, there are nearly a dozen diseases you could get from a mosquito bite. Because many are deadly or debilitating, mosquito diseases are a significant issue for survival. The last thing you need when the chips are down is more problems. Use a good repellent such as my favorite plant-based option REPEL. You can get yours right here on Amazon.
This parasite can be deadly if left untreated. Symptoms range from infections to stomach upset, shaking chills, high fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. More seriously, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, and vomiting, among other issues, can occur.
Most often, the Chikungunya virus causes fever and joint pain. You may get a headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Usually, it’s not deadly, but it can be debilitating.
• Dengue Fever
High fever, muscle, and joint pain or rash are common for Dengue. Severe cases can have bleeding and shock, which could be deadly.
• Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever can cause heart, liver, and kidney problem in severe cases. Other symptoms include pain in the abdomen or muscles, loss of appetite, fever, chills, and nausea. Sadly, the more dangerous symptoms include vomiting, fatigue, yellow skin and eyes, headaches, bleeding, and delirium.
• Eastern Equine Encephalitis
With a one-in-three death rate, EEE is really bad news. Symptoms include altered mental status, seizures, headaches, high fever, muscle pain, photophobia, and meningeal irritation.
• St. Louis Encephalitis
Nine out of ten people survive this virus with modern medicine, but when the SHTF, you probably won’t have access to hospitals. Mild symptoms are a headache, high fever, neck stiffness, and tremors. Severe symptoms include occasional convulsions stupor, disorientation, coma, and spastic paralysis.
• LaCrosse Encephalitis
With seizures, coma, and paralysis on the more severe end of this disease, it’s most dangerous to the young and the elderly. Typically it affects people more like a non-specific summertime illness.
• Western Equine Encephalitis
The good news is that only around 5-15% of patients die from this disease. The bad news is half of surviving infants will have permanent brain damage. Symptoms include high fevers, neck stiffness, confusion, headaches, shaking and seizures, paralysis, and coma.
• West Nile Virus
Despite the rumors and fearmongering only about one in every hundred-fifty people will die from West Nile Virus. Mild symptoms range from head and body aches to fever, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rash. Serious cases might include sleepiness, disorientation, stiff neck, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, and coma.
• Zika Virus
While many of the mosquito-borne diseases are bad, Zika is one of the most horrific. When you have a family or want one, then this is vital. Although Zika doesn’t kill people often on the record, it certainly can. More importantly, it can kill or cause permanent damage to unborn children.
According to the Mayo Clinic Zika has, “…been linked to miscarriage and microcephaly, a potentially fatal congenital brain condition. Sadly, the Zika virus may also cause congenital Zika syndrome, which includes these birth defects: Severe microcephaly with a partly collapsed skull. Brain damage and reduced brain tissue.”
You can’t avoid every problem and illness when you’re in a survival situation. Luckily, you can prepare smarter and help prevent unnecessary issues. Take care of your health, and keep your survival gear and skills current.
Actual repellents, like the permethrin I get from Amazon, for clothing, work beautifully to keep virus bearing mosquitos away. I suggest always keeping some on hand. Still, there are some other things you can do to help deter mosquitos from heading your direction.
• Choose light-colored clothing
Darker colors draw the bugs to you. Plus they hold in heat better, which is undesirable during peak mosquito season, which is when it’s hot out.
• Wear loose clothing that covers your body
It may seem counter-intuitive to wear full sleeves and long pants in summer. Realistically, take a lesson from anyone who’s ever lived in or worked outside in a desert and go with the flow(y) when picking your summer wardrobe. Skip the sandals, and you won’t get bitten on your feet.
• Tuck it in
Wear pants you can tuck into your boots or shoes. Tuck in your shirt or undershirt, and button your sleeves and collar all the way up. Less exposed skin is less risk; it’s that simple.
• Pick a hat with mosquito netting
Yes, it’s silly looking, but it’s also very practical. Plus a net hat will look better than a bunch of swollen and red lumps on your face from mosquito bites.
• Hang out by the fire
Wood smoke tends to deter mosquitoes and other bugs, so building a fire will help keep them away. Please be aware, a charcoal grill or tiki torch isn’t a good substitute for a real, honest-to-goodness wood-burning fire.
Taking extra steps to protect yourself from mosquitoes has other beneficial side effects. Less exposed skin means fewer chances for sunburn, ticks, and other issues that arise in nature. Nothing beats being savvy as a preventative measure.
Prevent Mosquitoes At Bug-In & Bug-Out Locations
Even scratching yourself open and getting a small infection is a much bigger deal in a survival situation. When you don’t have enough water for regular bathing, or access to new medical supplies, small things can become deadly. Protecting your body with a good repellant and the right clothing is the first step. Next, you need to lower the risk by preventing mosquitoes near home.
Plant Natural Repellents
If you can plant lemon trees, eucalyptus or citronella, do so immediately. Having your natural mosquito repellants around will help in the long run. Since they take time to grow and reach maturity, it’s best not to wait until you need them.
Other Plants That Prevent Mosquitos
Reduce Standing Water
Make sure you have adequate drainage to avoid standing pools of water. Fill in potholes and puddles with gravel and soil, so they don’t become mosquito breeding grounds. If you have gutters, don’t let them clog up. Likewise, if you’re using any water catchments like rain barrels, and you should, cover them. Anytime you’re not using them, put a lid on it, so bugs and debris don’t get inside.
Debris Removal & Coffee
When no standing water is available, mosquitoes lay their eggs in damp areas. Rotting logs, moist soil, and piles of leaves are perfect examples of breeding grounds. Keeping your home and the area around it clean is essential for sanitation anyhow. Preventing insect invasions is a happy side effect. Anywhere you can’t get all the water and debris up, sprinkle coffee grounds to kill mosquito larvae.
Foggers, Candles & More
Tiki torches full of citronella make a great light source and help keep the biters away. Similarly, you can pick up candles infused with lemon oil or other preventatives. In fact, you can even get DEET free Murphy’s Mosquito Sticks on Amazon. They burn for a long time, and I love the smell, so I use them all summer and keep them in my preps because the tubes are easy to pack.
Also, consider using a fogger or similar solution in your yard when the summer hits. Foggers will cover a fuller area and don’t require as much effort. You can use handheld sprayers if you prefer. The ability to spot check areas with extra moisture is a nice bonus. Controlling the whole area around your home is a big task, but very doable. Moreover, it could save your life when TEOTWAWKI happens, and you can’t call an exterminator.
If you’re ever stuck in the woods while it’s raining, you could probably slather yourself in the mud like you’re trying to avoid the Predator. However, there are much better ways to ward off the Zika, Dengue Fever, or Malaria that mosquitoes can carry. Choose a good repellent with permethrin or eucalyptus for your EDC.
Ignoring the problem can lead to severe consequences, and not just annoying itchy bumps. Just as forgetting your sunscreen can result in cancer. Likewise, mosquito repellent is one of those necessary small items that can save your skin. You won’t find this on any preparedness list, but simply not signing up for additional issues is almost a skill on its own.
When you’re in a bind, use whatever you can and survive. Preparedness is just a great way to make sure you have a lot more on hand to help raise your chances of making it.