When the weather warms up, the insects return, including those pesky mosquitoes. Unfortunately, this year may be worse than in previous years. The reason for a boom in the mosquito population is that the average temperature across the nation during the month of April was 2 degrees warmer than usual. In addition, there was an average of 2 inches more rain. These are just the kinds of conditions mosquitoes thrive in.
Because of the particularly heavy mosquito population this year, it’s a good idea to take steps to protect your aging relative from their bites.
Why Protect Against Mosquito Bites?
Only the female mosquito sucks blood. That’s because they need the protein in the blood to feed their eggs. Because mosquitoes draw blood, they have the potential to transmit diseases from one person to another. Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitoes are:
-West Nile Virus: West Nile Virus sometimes causes no symptoms or only a mild fever. However, in some people, it causes a severe illness involving the nervous system.
-Zika Virus: The Zika virus causes joint pain, rash, and a fever that usually lasts about a week.
In addition to some serious illnesses that mosquitoes can cause, older adults are also at risk for skin infections from scratching at the bites. Older adult skin is more fragile because it is thinner, so they may break the skin and introduce germs into it.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes can bite at any time, day or night. Though there are more mosquitoes outside, they do sometimes get in the house and can live indoors. In fact, they may try to get inside to find a warmer place when the weather gets cool. Some ways you can prevent mosquitoes from biting your aging relative are:
-Insect Repellent: Look for an insect repellent that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These are proven safe and effective. The repellent you choose should contain DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
-Clothing: Seniors should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outside to keep mosquitoes away from their skin.
-Keep Mosquitoes Out of the House: Make sure all of the older adult’s windows have screens with mesh small enough to keep mosquitoes out. Alternatively, keep the windows closed and use air conditioning to keep the house cool.
Senior care can help with preventing mosquito bites on your older family member. A senior care provider can make sure windows and doors are kept closed on days when mosquitoes are particularly thick. When the older adult goes outside, the senior care provider can assist them with choosing the right clothing and spray them with insect repellent.
If you or someone you know needs Elderly Care in Hutchinson, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.