Mosquito bites may be more than just an itchy annoyance — they also can transmit deadly germs that cause diseases such as Zika, West Nile or dengue, the U.S. National Institutes of Health warns.
Mosquito-borne illnesses kill about 725,000 people worldwide each year, the agency says.
Here are the NIH’s suggestions for avoiding mosquito bites:
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or IR3535 on the skin or thin clothing.
- Wear long sleeves, pants and socks.
- Install or repair screens to keep insects out. Use air conditioning, if available, and keep windows and doors shut.
- Get rid of bug breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet dishes and birdbaths.