Mosquito expert debunks the biggest myths about why the insects bite some people more than others – and reveals how to keep them away
- Ahead of summer, Australians are once again gearing up to confront mosquitoes
- According to expert Dr Cameron Webb, many cures have no scientific backing
- He revealed bananas or beer have little effect on a bite’s severity or scratch
- He also shared some of his top tips to reduce the chances of getting bitten
As summer draws near and the mercury continues to rise, Australians are gearing up to confront an insect synonymous with the season – mosquitoes.
And with their arrival so too will come the onslaught of theories about how to avoid getting bitten, and what keeps them at bay in the first place.
Speaking on Sunrise, Dr Cameron Webb from NSW Health Pathology, busted some of the biggest myths around mosquito bites, and also shared some of his top tips for keeping them away.
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According to mosquito expert Dr Cameron Webb from NSW Health Pathology speaking on Sunrise, many supposed cures have no scientific backing
He also revealed that bananas, Vegemite and beer have little effect on the likelihood of getting bitten and severity of a scratch
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First thing’s first, Dr Webb tackled some of the biggest myths.
He revealed that bananas, Vegemite and beer have little effect on the likelihood of getting bitten or the severity of a scratch.
In fact, he added, some research even suggests that drinking beer makes you more attractive to the insects.
What are some of the things you can do to reduce the risk of getting bitten?
* Wear insect repellent with DEET
* Wear long-sleeved shirts
* Wear bright clothes
* Avoid dusk and dawn
* Switch on the fan
* Empty clear water containers
But, he said, it’s true that some people will get bitten more than others and there is not much you can do about it:
‘It’s something in your body and your genetics if you’re one of those people, but you can help yourself by using insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts,’ he said.
Speaking about the best ways to reduce the risk of getting bitten, Dr Webb recommended people wear repellent, wear bright clothes, avoid dusk and dawn and switch on the fan.
‘Make sure your backyard isn’t a home for mosquitoes by tipping out any water from dog bowls etc,’ he said.
He also said you should wear a repellent that contains DEET.
‘When (the mosquito) is looking for someone to bite she can sense the carbon dioxide we breathe out and particularly the smell of our skin,’ he said.
To avoid the insect, householders should tip out any water that’s around, make sure their rain water tank is working properly and wear people wear a repellent that contains DEET
Dr Webb also recommends an ice pack to reduce the itch that comes with the bites
Speaking on the program, Dr Webb also revealed that famed home remedies including oat meal, onion juice or baking soda may have some effect but can’t be a guarantee for complete relief.
Instead Dr Webb recommends an ice pack to reduce the itch that often comes with the bites.
‘Any soothing cream will reduce the itch but also for young children, make sure you put on some antiseptic cream because you don’t want them scratching it and getting a secondary infection,’ he said.
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