Did you know that today is World Mosquito Day? Don’t worry… it wasn’t marked on our calendars either. This internationally recognized annual observance dates back to the late 1800’s when a British doctor uncovered critical information on the transmission of malaria from mosquito to human. Fortunately, this led to future discoveries that have allowed us to largely eradicate malaria from most developed countries. Unfortunately, there are still hundreds of thousands of malaria-related deaths each year, with 90% of those localized in Africa. While the world has seen an overall decrease in the prevalence of malaria, increased awareness, information, and research around this potentially fatal disease are still paramount to eliminating it from modern vernacular.
Of course, it seems like success against one disease is matched with the rise of something entirely new, something we don’t yet know how to address. The Zika Virus has been the most recent cause of mosquito-related panic, and researchers worldwide are attempting to collect as much information as possible to provide a clear plan for eradication in order to quell rising fears. For more information on the Zika Virus – check out our post on the 6 things women need to know.
These are just a few of the reasons why an observance such as World Mosquito Day is important, and why we’re addressing it today. It provides a brief, but powerful, 24-hour platform to discuss how we do more to solve these worldwide problems, plus find ways to stay safe, happy and healthy when it comes to protecting yourself from mosquitos. Unfortunately, pregnancy makes you more likely to get bitten by mosquitos for two reasons: a) you have a higher average body temperature and mosquitos are attracted to warmth, and b) you’re also likely taking more breaths, thus releasing more Carbon Dioxide, which is something mosquitos are attracted to. So that’s why we’re bringing you our top tips for bug spray safety, with key considerations while pregnant.
Before we jump into the list, we want to remind you of two things:
1. Knowledge is power – use information to your advantage to build your own awareness, because when you know more you’ll worry less. We’re often most afraid of things we don’t understand, so use your knowledge to empower yourself.
2. Trust your better judgment – when combing through the endless tangles of internet resources, it’s easy to get caught up in horror stories and panic-inducing ‘facts’. Keep a keen eye out for credible resources, and go to the places you can trust. There’s no need to read through unreliable resources that may boast nothing more than a catchy headline, as they’ll ultimately add to your stress and anxiety.
So, without further ado, and in honor of World Mosquito Day – here are your top tips for staying safe!
5 Tips for Bug Spray Safety
Overall, try not to use insect repellent if possible. However, if you are going to a country where there are insect borne diseases then there are some repellents that you can use.
1. The most common ingredient in insect repellents is a chemical called N-diethyl-meta-toluamide – or DEET for short. Now while this is considered completely safe, there have not been many tests on the effects on you or baby with prolonged use during pregnancy. So, use it when you must but moderation is key.
2. Repellents containing Picaridin, while considered not as effective as DEET, are considered completely safe for pregnancy.
3. Lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are not generally recommended for pregnant women, but as usual, consult with your physician before use.
4. You can always use natural repellents such as; Citronella candles or Cedar, however these are not as effective so try not to rely on them for peak mosquito hours
5. DEET has also been labelled safe for women breast-feeding as long as it is used as recommended.
In all likelihood, you’re living in an area that has negligible-to-nil levels of mosquitos carrying infectious diseases – so do keep those differences in mind when reading about areas that are more prone to Zika. You may get a mosquito bite or two during your 9 months, and chances are you and baby will be just fine. But, going back to point 1, remember that knowledge IS power – so soak it up, use it and be proud of it!