L.A. has seen a huge uptick in mosquitoes and mosquito season. Scientists are reporting that as recently as 2020, a new species of mosquito has hit the scene. Sadly, it looks like they’re staying for the long haul. Aedes, a black and white striped biting devil, just moved into LaLa Land, and they didn’t come for the surfing or the shopping.
According to recent research, Aedes mosquitoes can bite through heavier types of clothing versus other insect species that we also wish would buzz off. The Aedes mosquitoes are seemingly capable of biting through fabrics like heavy cotton or denim. Plus, bite about five times in succession before moving on — rude.
They’re also able to lay eggs in incredibly small amounts of water. Literally, the amount of water that can collect in a bottle cap is enough to be a suitable mosquito nursery. On top of this, their eggs can lay dormant for months and survive to eventually hatch during a drought if laid in the correct situations. Even the mosquitoes are extra in L.A.
A Growing Concern
What’s worse than this? California scientists have confirmed that not only are these mosquitoes here to stay, but the numbers are expanding — quickly and enormously.
Because of their vast expansion, the mosquito season for L.A. residents is growing, almost to the point of needing extensive protection all year. We hate to say this, but recent studies have concluded that L.A. is the number one worst city for mosquitoes in the U.S.
As parents, these facts are scary. Protecting our children from anything and everything we can is always priority one, and that job is so much harder when the insect you’re trying to keep away is persistent and has the numbers.
But don’t worry: The Natural Patch Co. is here to give you a few tips and tricks to keep you and your family resting easy so that you don’t have to give up your favorite activities just yet.
What You Need To Know
Mosquitoes have been around forever, and we obviously know this because we have an official season dedicated to keeping awareness about bites in the front of our minds. But these mosquitoes aren’t just making us itchy.
Mosquitoes carry harmful diseases and spread them through these bites. For the past 20 years, L.A. and Southern California residents as a whole tend to worry about insect-carried diseases. Cases of West Nile virus, though exceedingly rare, do still occur.
All around the world, mosquitoes threaten people with the Zika Virus, Yellow Fever, and Dengue Fever. Mosquitoes are ever-evolving and, as such, are able to carry diseases further than ever.
It’s scary, but hope is on the horizon. There are things to consider to keep yourself safe as well as items we can suggest for added protection.
Why They Like You
No, it’s not those punchy one-liners you deliver every day at breakfast (that’s why we like you). It has everything to do with natural smells. Mosquitoes are attracted to areas that have a lot of humans or animals because when we exhale, we release carbon dioxide. So for them, the more carbon dioxide, the more people and animals to bite.
This means that when you work out outside, you need to be more cautious about being bitten. Long sleeves and pants can help, but you’ll want to look into windbreaker-type and looser fabrics because mosquitoes can bite through spandex.
Your family is right: You are incredible, special, and super cool. Unfortunately, mosquitoes agree. Some people’s smells and chemicals are more attractive to mosquitoes than the smells from your neighbor.
If you are one of those people that gets bitten more often than others, it’s not you; it’s your smells. But there’s really not a lot you can do to change your natural odors, so let’s just be a little more proactive about fending them off.
Keeping Them Out
First things first, keep the mosquitoes out of your house. The best way to do this is through the protection offered by screens. Ensuring that doors and windows are fitted with proper screens (with no holes or tears) can protect you and your family from any buzzing beasts that will try to get in.
After this, make sure that your home and yard or porch areas don’t have any standing water anywhere. Seriously, we mean anywhere. As we’ve said before, these new mosquitoes need the smallest amount of standing water to breed, and other types barely need more. Having any water just chilling in a bucket might seem harmless at first, but you’ve been warned.
This is also a great time to stress that to-do list: clean gutters and freshly mowed lawns are great ways to keep your house from being used as a mosquito date night. Mosquitoes like tall grass that they can hide in as well as heavily littered gutters where there can be moisture and hidden amounts of water. Keeping these areas fresh and free from debris can help reduce the risk of mosquitoes moving in.
And Stay Out!
You know how we mentioned smells earlier? Well, there are two things we do that can affect our smells, so be mindful of these. The first: drinking alcohol. Alcohol can alter our mindset, but it also affects the amount of carbon dioxide we release when talking and breathing. So yeah, your favorite IPA could be attracting more mosquitoes.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt victimized by your children’s smelly feet. Ok, we know that adults can have this problem too, but we also know that all of our kids have at one point or another been too lazy to put on socks with shoes to play outside. Never again!
Odors caused by wearing shoes can create heavy amounts of carbon dioxide that are released when we finally take off our shoes, and you guessed it, attract more mosquitoes. So even if your kids hate how sweaty their feet get in socks (we’ve heard all the excuses too!), it’s time to put your foot down and put their socks on.
Your kids will be better protected from mosquitoes, even if only slightly, and your house will smell a little better. Win-win.
Keeping Them Off
If you love sunshine as much as the next person, you are one of those that enjoy hiking and outdoor activities with friends and families. Any parent can tell you that children, no matter where or how old, love to be outside. Of course, as parents, we want to encourage as much outdoor play and activity as possible. Yet, we can’t help but worry about the bites they come in with.
If hiking is something you do as a family, you’ll know that exposure to the elements is inevitable and guaranteed you’ll come across your fair share of mosquitoes in the process. A great way to keep safe is to wear high, thick socks and tuck your pants into them.
We know that this may seem silly, but closing off that gap between your pants and legs can leave less access for mosquitoes. You may think that tight clothes will be an easier remedy to this, but the tighter fabrics are thin enough for mosquitoes to bite through.
Instead, opt for heavy cottons, various weights of denim, or clothes in windbreaker styles that make it harder for mosquitoes to bite through. This is how we dress for success (at staying free of mosquito bites).
Don’t Fall For the Bad Guys
Let’s address those chemical products that you see everywhere. Insect repellants like DEET and Picaridin are advertised to be proven to repel mosquitoes, but these are not the safe products that they seem to be.
To begin with, they are only studied as long as they have been on the market, so the reliability of their “safety” could change in the future. Many insecticides, including these, have side effects that affect the overall health of your environment and family.
In addition to this, many of the labels only say safe when used according to directions. The problem with this is that the safety instructions and the recommended dosage aren’t enough to actually make the product effective. This means we are over-using products that have negative side effects.
It took ten years after the harmful effects of DDT were confirmed before it was banned in most countries (DEET can actually melt plastic). There isn’t any guarantee, especially with insecticides, that it won’t happen again with products on the market now.
The Extra Helpers
As parents, we always want the best and safest products for our children.
That’s where we come in. The Natural Patch Co. only uses all-natural essential oils in our biodegradable products; the BuzzPatch can be worn on clothing for up to eight hours and naturally repels mosquitoes. Plus, the essential oils smell amazing, and these stickers come in fun patterns. What kid doesn’t love wearing stickers? (And what parent won’t love how clean our kids smell even though we forgot bathtime last night?)
But bites can and probably will happen at some point, and we are here to help with that as well. Our MagicPatch itch relief stickers can be worn on mosquito bites for up to seven days and help lift the saliva that mosquitoes leave behind that makes the skin itchy. The best part is that they can be worn by kids and adults.
Don’t Let Bugs Get You Down
No, we haven’t figured out a way to make our bodies immune to mosquito bites, but we support all the people out there trying. The Natural Patch Co. is all about being prepared and knowing what you’re up against, so if you are out there trying to survive mosquito season, we've got the resources to help.
Mosquitoes are out there trying to throw a wrench in our weekend plans, but with these tips, tricks, and our helpful products, your family can have fun outside without worrying about bugs getting in your way.