How to avoid mosquito bites

Health officials have confirmed the state’s first locally acquired case of dengue fever this year in Miami-Dade County. They say the 50-year-old woman has since fully recovered.

Dengue is not spread person to person. It is transmitted by mosquito, and unfortunately for us, the type of mosquito that transmits this infection, Aedes, is common in Florida.

By now you probably know what you should do to avoid mosquito bites:
• Cover up when you’re outside – wear long pants and long sleeves.
• Use repellent on bare skin and clothing.
• Drain standing water. Mosquitos can breed in amounts of water as small as a bottle cap.

But do you know what you shouldn’t do to avoid mosquito bites? Here are three No-nos, according to Aileen Marty, M.D., professor at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Marty, who once contracted dengue in her travels as a Navy doctor, specializes in infectious and tropical diseases.

3 things you shouldn’t do in order to avoid mosquitos

1. Don’t drink beer around mosquitos. Drinking beer makes you more attractive to mosquitos. Researchers believe the pests are attracted to odor and breath changes caused by alcohol.
2. Don’t swat wildly. Everyone does it, but studies show this can actually double the number of mosquitos attracted to you.
3. Don’t forget your deodorant. Mosquitos are attracted to stinky bacteria on your skin.

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