If you’ve had enough of mosquitoes and you’re not gonna take â€˜em anymore, you’re not alone: The United States is square in the middle of Mosquito Control Week.
For my part, I rarely worry about mosquitoes since I live in the Phoenix area. But even a dry climate isn’t complete protection – our numerous artificial lakes provide some hotspots for getting stung. And every sting increases your odds of being among the 2,469 cases of West Nile virus reported to the Center for Disease Control last year. And that doesn’t include the latest threat – chikungunya, a mosquito-born illness that originated in the Caribbean. Its effects include severe joint pain that can make walking or even just shaking hands painful. Chikungunya can also cause numbness in the tongue when you attempt to say it aloud.
My problem is that I hate applying bug sprays. So what’s a guy like me to do? Well, I can think of at least two products that give you a non-smelly solution to mosquitoes that won’t make you feel gross.
The Anti-Mosquito Wristband
The latest is Mosquitno Bands bracelet. Think of it as one of those charity bracelets, but with the power to keep mozzies, as the Australians call them, far away. They’re non-toxic, and citronella is the ingredient that keeps the pests away. You can get one in a variety of colors for $3.99. Each one should provide six days of protection.
I haven’t had the chance to test it. But at that price? It’s worth rolling the dice without me telling you that it works. Grab a bunch for your next trip to the tropics -- or the Chicago suburbs, for that matter. If anyone asks what charity it supports, tell them the Mosquito Control Week Awareness League. (In all seriousness, Mosquitno supports UNICEF to help kids worldwide who are affected by mosquito-born illnesses.) They’re also available in a sticker form called Mosquitno Spotz.)
Here’s something else that I really like: You can return your used Mosquitno Bands to the company for recycling. They’ll send you two new Mosquitno Bands for every 10 used bands your return.
Before my trip to Vietnam, Insect Shield got a hold of me for a product review. They sent some socks, a shirt, a hat and a bandanna my way. I figured Vietnam would be a good test for anti-pest clothes.
I saved the socks in particular for a three-day hiking trip in the highlands near the Chinese border. Three days of romping around in rice paddies in a damp climate – and not a single mosquito bite. Oddly enough, though, Vietnam wasn’t as swarming-with-bitey-things as I expected. Also important is that the Insect Shield socks are a legit pair of hiking socks that felt nearly as good as my Darn Tough socks.
Insect Shield makes just about every possible type of clothing, far more than I would’ve guesses. Its insect-repellent properties are designed to last the life of the clothing.
So there you have it – the best Mosquito Awareness Week news you can get is that you no longer need to coat yourself in DEET. They might be just as effective as living in the desert, minus the 115-degree summer heat!