Wear mosquito repellent. A variety of specially-formulated insect repellents are available for sale at camping or sporting goods stores. Apply insect repellent to uncovered skin surfaces when outdoors, especially during the day. When using sunscreen, apply it before insect repellent. Here are a few common chemical solutions effective at repelling mosquitoes:
Repellents containing 30% to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are recommended for adults and children over 2 months of age and effective for several hours. Repellents with lower amounts of DEET offer shorter-term protection and must be applied more often.
DEET can irritate skin when applied directly in high concentration or for long periods of time. It can even cause severe skin reactions in certain individuals.
Despite rumors to the contrary, DEET has never been scientifically proven to cause cancer.
Repellents containing up to 15% picaridin, which must be applied often, are available in the US. Repellents with higher concentrations of picaridin may be available in some regions outside the US.
Consider an all-natural solution. Experiment with non chemical solutions such as Citronella (natural plant oil). Tea tree oil and vitamin B have reportedly helped some people repel mosquitoes. As with any product, their effectiveness depends on the situation, your own skin chemistry, and the exact type of mosquito you are dealing with. Note, however, that so-called “alternative” solutions sometimes aren’t held to the testing standards that mainstream commercial repellents are - research alternative solutions and read testimonials before spending any money.
Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes from biting you is to simply cover your skin. Wear your sleeves and pant legs as long as possible to cover as much skin as possible. Also keep your clothing as loose as possible. This serves two purposes: first, it’s much more comfortable in the hot, humid weather where mosquitoes thrive. Second, mosquitoes can sometimes bite through clothing that’s held tight against the skin, especially if the fabric is thin.
If you have the money, camping and sporting goods stores often sell specially-designed pants and shirts made out of strong yet lightweight material. These clothes offer maximal protection from mosquito bites along with a relatively high level of comfort.
Clothing may also be sprayed with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for greater protection. (Remember: don’t use permethrin on skin.)