Mosquitoes are a major nuisance for many regions of the United States, particularly in the south. However, while these pests might irritate you with bites and buzzing, how do they affect your little ones? Babies are just as susceptible to mosquito bites as anyone else, but they don’t have the luxury of protecting themselves.
So, with that in mind, let’s break down the various ways that you can protect your infant from mosquitoes.
How Can I Protect My Baby From Mosquitoes?
Use Mosquito Netting
When going outside with your little one, you should rely on mosquito netting over the stroller or handheld crib. Adding this netting allows your child to see you and experience nature without letting any pests inside. The added benefit of mosquito netting is that you don’t have to worry as much about bugs and other natural elements getting your stroller or crib dirty.
Avoid High-Risk Times of Day
Mosquitoes are most active in the morning, dusk, and after it rains. The humidity in the air and the lack of direct sunlight make them far more aggressive. The heat of the day can dehydrate mosquitoes, so you won’t see them much during hot, dry days.
Use Mosquito Pest Control
The best way to prevent mosquitoes from biting your infant is to keep them at bay altogether. Fortunately, professional pest control services like Carolina Pest can treat your yards and other outdoor areas so these pests won’t come to visit. Not only can we kill any existing mosquitoes, but our treatments will help prevent them from returning.
Also, don’t worry about harmful chemicals or pesticides. We offer green solutions that are eco-friendly while still killing mosquitoes with impunity. We want you to enjoy your outdoor spaces as much as you do.
Cover Your Baby
Another excellent way to avoid bites is to limit the amount of skin exposure on your baby. Covering your child with layers of clothing ensures that mosquitoes won’t be able to penetrate the skin. That said, if you’re out on a hot day, you have to be careful to avoid overheating. In those cases, netting is the best solution because it won’t affect your child’s temperature.
Apply Mosquito Repellent
According to the CDC, you shouldn’t put any repellents on your baby directly. Instead, you can spray items like clothing and other surfaces to ward off pests. When picking a repellent, choose ones with 30 percent or less of DEET. More than that, and you could inadvertently harm your little one.
Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Babies?
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, movement, and heat. These indicators are how these insects find their next host. So, your baby may not be a prime target for mosquitoes, especially while they’re sleeping. Babies give off less CO2 than adults, and they’re not likely moving around as much.
That said, mosquitoes are not necessarily more or less attracted to any type of person. So, your baby is not any tastier or more desirable than anyone else.
Are Mosquito Bites Dangerous for Babies?
Yes, they can be. The primary reason for the danger is that babies don’t have as much exposure to bites and outside irritants. So, infants and children can often have more severe reactions since their bodies aren’t used to mosquito bites.
That said, a few bites shouldn’t require a visit to the emergency room. Only if your child starts exhibiting other symptoms, such as a rash, fever, shaking, or vomiting. In those cases, you need to see a doctor immediately.
Another issue is that babies don’t know how to react to itchy bites. So, as the area gets swollen and irritated, your little one will likely keep crying. Fortunately, you should be able to apply a small amount of hydrocortisone cream to the affected areas. Since this cream contains a topical steroid, it helps relieve the swelling and itchiness. You can also wipe the bites with a cold, damp towel regularly to dull the sensation.
What Mosquito Repellent is Safe for Babies?
For the most part, you can use child-safe mosquito repellents on your baby. When checking the label, pay attention to the active ingredient. Most bug sprays contain DEET, which helps prevent bites from mosquitoes and ticks. You want to buy products with 10 to 30 percent DEET, as higher concentrations can lead to allergic reactions and irritation.
Another chemical that’s starting to pop up in the U.S. is picaridin. This product is widely used in Europe, but it’s recently been touted as a better alternative to DEET. Fortunately, picaridin is safe for infants over two months old, so feel free to use repellents with that as an active ingredient.
Finally, you can use natural repellents instead of synthetic bug sprays. Common options include cedarwood, citronella, lemongrass, and more. Some parents prefer all-natural solutions since they have much less of a risk of affecting their babies.
However, keep in mind that some grasses and plants can cause allergic reactions. So, before going all-in on these options, be sure to test them out first. Apply a little bit to your baby and see how they react. If there is no irritation, the product should be safe to use.
Let Carolina Pest Help Control Your Mosquito Problem
Mosquitoes are the one pest that causes the most problems. You want to enjoy your backyard and patio areas, but these pests make it hard to do. Rather than rely on bug sprays and torches, let Carolina Pest take care of these bloodsuckers. We’ll go out to your property for an assessment and see which treatments will work best. From there, we’ll develop a short-term and long-term plan for keeping your home mosquito-free. Call us today to set up an appointment.