Fishing means being exposed to Mother Nature and its elements - humidity, rain, wind, chill, and not to mention, insects and bugs. The number one thing that can ruin your beautifully-planned fishing activity is the mosquito--yes, this tiny insect can cause harm that may even leave some in critical condition.
Before we dive deeper into how you can protect yourself from mosquitoes, let’s discuss the most common diseases that these winged-ones could cause:
Table of Contents:
- What are Common Diseases That You Can Get From a Mosquito Bite?
- Why Do Mosquitoes Bite People?
- 13 Tips To Avoid Mosquitoes While Fishing
- What spray should you use?
- What Herbal Oils should you use?
- What type of clothing should you wear for sun protection?
- What are the times of day you should avoid?
- What color clothing should you wear?
- What type of areas should you avoid?
- What should you do so that mosquitoes and bugs avoid you?
- What direction should you go?
- What direction should you face?
- Where should you fish?
- What foods should you avoid?
- What drinks to avoid?
- What hats should you wear?
6 Common Diseases That You Can Get From a Mosquito Bite
Mosquitoes may be tiny, but they can be fierce. The mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world. It might seem impossible that something so small can kill so many people with just one bite. Mosquito bites result in the deaths of over one million people every year.
This insect carries diseases that can be fatal, such as:
West Nile Virus (WNV)
Mosquitoes are known to be carriers of diseases. With WNV, a mosquito that bites an infected bird, then bites a person, can transmit WNV. This disease is commonly spread during the summer, but the majority of the people who are infected hardly show any symptoms.
While only less than one percent of people bitten by a mosquito with WNV develop severe symptoms, WNV can become very problematic for older adults aged 60 and above and people with weakened immune systems.
The symptoms of WNV show within three to 14 days of being bitten and the severity of the symptoms vary. Severe symptoms include fever, convulsions, confusion, muscle weakness, numbness, and paralysis. It can last for several weeks and in rare cases, the disease can cause permanent brain damage.
On the other hand, mild WNV is often confused with the flu and it doesn't last long. Mild WNV symptoms include headache, fever, body aches, nausea, rash on chest, stomach or back.
WNV is a viral condition, which means that it doesn’t have a cure. However, OTC medications, such as pain relievers may help relieve symptoms of WNV.
Encephalitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation in the brain. There are many common viral causes of encephalitis and mosquito-borne viruses, WNV is one of them. Symptoms of encephalitis may occur within a few days to a couple of weeks following exposure to a mosquito-borne virus.
The virus brings mild flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joints ache. Symptoms can be severe as well in which an individual may experience seizures, confusion, hallucinations, muscle weakness, problems with speech or hearing, and loss of consciousness.
Infants and young children may be infected as well and they may show symptoms, such as body stiffness, nausea, poor feeding, bulging in the soft spots of the skull, and irritability.
Dogs can only get heartworms from a mosquito bite. A mosquito infected with the heartworm larvae will give your dog heartworm disease. It takes seven months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms once an infected mosquito bites a dog. The larva lodges in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and reproduces.
Adult worms can grow up to 12 inches in length and they can live five to seven years. A dog can have as many as 250 worms in its system.
When a dog gets infected, symptoms don’t show up immediately. When more worms crowd the heart and lungs, a dog will develop a cough and as it progresses, you will notice they get tired quickly. Dogs with severe heartworm disease have abnormal lung sounds and they can pass out due to blood loss to the brain. If not treated, dogs may die from the disease.
There are a few medications available to treat heartworms and they come in the form of an injectable. A dog will be given two to three injections that will kill the adult heartworms that are in the blood vessels of the heart. Heartworms require an extensive pretreatment workup that includes X-rays, blood work, and other tests.
The Zika virus occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. It’s challenging to diagnose the Zika virus because most people infected with it don’t show any signs and symptoms. However, some people who experience mild symptoms report mild fever, muscle pain, and rash. Other signs of the virus include pink eye, headache, and a general feeling of discomfort.
Aside from getting bitten by a mosquito, the virus may also spread through sexual contact and blood transfusion. Pregnant women may also spread the virus to the fetus during pregnancy. Currently, scientists are working on a vaccine against the virus.
Also known as breakbone fever, dengue is endemic in at least 100 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
The symptoms of dengue usually begin 2 to 7 days after the mosquito bite and it can last 4 to 10 days. Mild dengue fever can appear within seven days after being bitten by a dengue carrier mosquito. Mild symptoms are body rash, high fever, aching muscles and joints, intense headache, pain behind the eyes, vomiting and a feeling of nausea.
On the other hand, dengue may also bring a hemorrhagic fever. The fever usually starts off as mild and it gradually worsens within a few days. A person with a dengue hemorrhagic fever may experience mild dengue symptoms and signs of internal bleeding. Hemorrhagic fever can be fatal without immediate treatment.
Dengue shock syndrome is a severe form of dengue that can be fatal. Aside from mild symptoms, an individual with a dengue shock syndrome may experience intense stomach pain, disorientation, heavy bleeding, fast drop in blood pressure, regular vomiting, etc.
Since it’s a virus, there is no specific treatment or cure. However, there are various treatments available as well as prevention techniques, such as wearing mosquito repellents, and avoiding areas with plenty of standing water.
Chikungunya is another virus caused by mosquitoes. Its symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, fatigue, headache, and rash that appear within two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The disease rarely causes severe complications and it usually runs for a short period.
Most people who develop chikungunya recover in three to 10 days but joint pain may continue for months or even years. The virus rarely develops into something fatal but when it does, older adults with chronic illnesses are most vulnerable. It is also said that people who have been infected once are likely to be protected from future infections.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite People?
Indeed, the most deadly animal in the world is a mosquito. So, why do they bite humans? Mosquitoes bite people because they need protein in their blood. Apparently, they get their much-needed protein from humans. However, only female mosquitoes bite and they also use the blood to help lay their eggs.
There are some humans that get bitten more often by mosquitoes compared to others. One reason is genetics. Scientists are finding genes that govern certain body odors to help them come up with more targeted types of mosquito repellants. According to James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the genes that trigger odors either attract or repel mosquitoes.
“There is an enormous amount of data to support the fact that how attractive you are to mosquitoes is determined by body odor,” Logan said.
Logan and his team conducted experiments with sets of twin sisters—18 pairs of identical twins and 19 pairs of non-identical twins. The study showed that identical twins are more likely to have the same body odor than fraternal twins, therefore, body odor that is attributed to genetics is high and that genes play a significant role in determining whether the smell attracts mosquitoes.
Another reason why mosquitoes are attracted more to some people is because of body chemistry. People with high levels of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes more. However, this doesn’t mean that a person has a high level of cholesterol, instead, it could be that these people are more efficient at processing cholesterol and its byproducts remain on the skin’s surface.
Mosquitoes are also attracted to people who produce excess amounts of specific acids, such as uric acid. A human’s metabolism may also play a role in why mosquitoes are more attracted to them. Mosquitoes are attracted to the rate of carbon dioxide production, and people with higher metabolic rates tend to produce more carbon dioxide, such as larger people and pregnant women.
Lifestyle is also a factor why mosquitoes are drawn to some compared to others. For one, people living in tropical countries probably wear tank tops and shorts a lot of the time to keep them cool. Exposed skin, along with other factors, make them an easy target for mosquitoes.
Moreover, even if you do not live in a tropical or subtropical area but you want to visit one, you need to be mindful of the high number of disease-carrying mosquitoes in the area.
13 Tips To Make Fishing A More Enjoyable Experience
Prevention is definitely better than seeking a cure. Here are some tips to help keep mosquitoes at bay whilst you are out fishing:
Mosquito repellent that contains DEET is known to be safe and effective. DEET is the chemical N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, which you may see as an active ingredient in most insect repellents being sold today.
An article in the Journal of Insect Science, which was published in 2015, examined the effectiveness of several commercial insect sprays and it was discovered that products containing DEET are effective and are relatively long-lasting.
Picaridin is also known to be effective. There are some observations that Picaridin is more effective than DEET because it can keep mosquitoes at a greater distance. DEET, on the other hand, may still have mosquitoes land on the skin but not bite. Products containing picaridin make mosquitoes less likely to land on the skin.
You can also protect yourself from mosquitoes by using herbal oils. The potent smell of herbal oils keeps the mosquitoes away for at least six to eight hours. Moreover, herbal oils contain antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-protozoan properties.
You can check out herbal oils made from:
All you need to do is mix them with water and *poof*, you got yourself an instant mosquito repellent.
If you do not want to mix anything, you can directly apply to your skin herbal oils made from peppermint, tea tree, and citronella.
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing Or Synthetic Sports Fabric With A High UPF Rating For Sun Protection
Mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothes, so if you are going to a place where there are a lot of mosquitoes, it is best to wear loose-fitting clothing. This is due to the fact that mosquitoes can’t bite through most fabrics, such as loose cotton and linens. Loose-fitting clothing can also keep you comfortable and cool while you are out on the boat. Synthetic sports fabric is also a great choice to keep mosquitoes at bay. And since you are out in the sun, make sure that your clothing has a UPF Rating above 40 for sun protection. You do not want to get a bad sunburn from your fishing trip!
Avoid Being Out At Dusk Or Dawn
Mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day. However, dusk and dawn are the prime feeding times of mosquitoes, which is why you should try to stay indoors during this time. You can set off to fish early in the morning or in the afternoon.
Wear Light-Colored Clothing
Mosquitoes are known to have excellent sight. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology found that mosquitoes can see their hosts from about 16-32 feet away. Bright-colored or even dark colored-clothing may make you more attractive to mosquitoes. That is why it is best to stick to light-colored clothing when you are going out to fish.
Avoid Areas With Standing/Stagnant Water
Mosquitoes frequent standing water because this is where they lay their eggs. That is also why you will usually find mosquitoes swarming over stagnant water. Make sure to avoid areas with standing water to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Shower and Wear Fresh Clothes
The scent of your sweat and other odor that you emit when you have not showered or do not have fresh clothes on may produce a strong odor that may attract mosquitoes. One of the substances found in sweat is lactic acid, in which research has shown that it is a key mosquito attractant.
Ride With the Wind
The wind can chase away mosquitoes. So, if you are out fishing and you want to avoid mosquitoes, use the power of the wind. You can take a boat out on the water or you can go in places like a bend in a valley or a canyon to fish.
Face Into the Wind
If there are still mosquitoes and other bugs flying around but you feel a strong breeze, face into the wind. It will push insects to cluster behind your head instead of your face.
Go With the Flow Of the Water
As mentioned, mosquitoes breed in standing water. Find an area where the water is moving fast but still has pools. This is also a great spot because you will get more wind to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away.
Avoid Eating Foods That Are High in Carbohydrates, Sodium, and Potassium That Increases the Amount of Certain Acids That Attract Mosquitoes
These foods release acids in the body that are attractive to mosquitoes. So, before you head out to catch some fish, avoid eating salty and potassium-rich foods. Instead, consider eating foods that can repel mosquitoes, such as apples, blueberries, watermelon, cucumbers, and green peppers. You can also eat citrus fruits and spicy foods.
Don’t Drink Beer
Studies show that abstaining from alcohol whenever you are outdoors and doing activities, such as fishing, may help keep mosquitoes away. This is due to the body odor that beer drinkers emit that is attractive to mosquitoes.
Wear Fishing Hats With Flaps That Covers Your Face And Avoid Not Just Mosquitoes But All Bugs That May Go In Unwanted Areas Like Nose, Mouth, and Ears, etc.
Wearing the right fishing gear is important for your overall protection and comfort. When it comes to preventing mosquito bites, you can also wear fishing hats with flaps. It can cover your face and repel mosquitoes and other bugs. That way, you will be able to concentrate on your fishing without having to shoo away pesky insects around you and in your face.
Fortunately, there are a lot of fishing hats that you can get today. One of the best on the market is our selection of fishing hats here at GearTop. Our fishing hat with flaps is not only stylish and high quality, but it can also protect you from mosquitoes and the harmful UV rays.
Our fishing hat will provide you with 360-degree face protection, which will allow you to fully enjoy your fishing activity. It comes with a breathable mesh panel as well to keep you comfortable while you wait for a good catch.
Mosquitoes are deadly and you are vulnerable when you are outdoors. Since there is no cure for some of the viruses that mosquitoes carry, prevention is a must. These are the tips that will help you stay protected, especially when you are out on a fishing trip. Eating the right foods, considering the timing and spot, and wearing the right clothing are essential to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Invest in good quality gear and clothing, such as fishing hats to keep you protected from mosquitoes and the harmful rays of the sun. That way, you get to make the experience fun and comfortable, and at the same time, you get to save a lot of money in the long run.