Plague of mosquitoes spoils summer fun

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Mosquito alert: what protects against bites and helps with itching?

Summer makes it possible: long evenings in the garden or on the balcony, barbecues or a family trip to the swimming lake - outdoor activities are simply fun in the warm temperatures. But the fun can quickly be clouded, because at the moment the mosquitoes are also very active and thus become a real nuisance for many people.

Numerous mosquitoes due to high water mosquito alarm throughout Germany: This year again, a particularly large number of the small insects are on the move, because the floods have enabled the animals to find particularly good breeding conditions: For example, the female mosquitoes increase especially in shallow water, such as flooded meadows 200 eggs off, sometimes even the smallest amounts of water, such as in tree puddles or rock hollows, are sufficient. About 14 days later, the new generation of mosquitoes hatch, which grow up to 15 millimeters in size and weigh 2 to 2.5 milligrams, whereby the males are usually smaller than the mosquito females.

Only the female mosquito bites The females are not only bigger, in this case they are also the "dangerous" sex - because only they can bite. The reason: After fertilization by the males, it is necessary for the females to eat a blood meal, because in order to produce eggs, they need foreign proteins. The blood is taken from humans or animals with the help of the so-called "proboscis", usually about as much as two to three times its own weight. If a mosquito bites, there may be slight pain at the moment of the bite if the proboscis hits or touches a pain nerve. But the actually unpleasant thing is in most cases the allergic reaction in the form of redness or small swellings, which usually occurs shortly afterwards around the injection site, which is often also associated with a strong itching sensation - triggered by a certain protein that is found in the saliva the mosquito is located to prevent the blood from clotting.

Strong carbon dioxide emissions promote the risk of bites Even if no one is generally immune to mosquito bites, for example, avoiding perfume or other highly perfumed care products can help to reduce the risk of bites, as these attract the biting insects particularly strongly. The air we breathe also acts as an attractant - because, as scientists have been able to show, people with strong carbon dioxide emissions are stung faster or more often than others - whoever eats a lot of rice or sweats a lot belongs to the "risk group" here.

Home remedies mostly have no effect
A wide variety of methods are used to protect against the mosquitoes, but in most cases they are quite ineffective from an expert's point of view: According to the Stiftung Warentest, for example, the protective effect of essential oils is zero; instead, these would often even be irritating, because "Essential oils usually have a high potential to irritate the mucous membranes and can trigger allergic reactions in some cases." According to the foundation, appliances for the socket that secrete insecticide are also not advisable, and garden torches, scented candles or ultrasound devices would also have no lasting effect - the same apply to home remedies such as lemon balm, tomato or basil plants. Likewise, consumers are strongly advised against buying electronic traps with UV light, because these would attract protected moths instead of mosquitoes.

Long and loose clothing protects outdoors In order to protect yourself as well as possible at home, experts therefore recommend using fine-meshed synthetic or cotton mosquito nets that are attached to the windows. Alternatively, a mosquito net over the bed can also be a good aid. a mesh size of two millimeters should be sufficient here. Outside, long and, above all, loose clothing protects against the bites, because thin, tight-fitting fabrics make the bite easier for the animals. According to Prof. Ernst-Gerhard Burmeister, the former deputy director of the Zoological State Collection in Munich, special equipment would also offer additional protection: "There are some fragrances that you can put under the table, for example, as an attractant to destroy the mosquito like special ones CO2 donor, because this is the primary stimulus that causes the mosquito to fly at us as humans, ”said the mosquito expert in an interview with“ Bayern 2 ”.

Mosquito repellent only effective with certain ingredients In addition, further protection is provided by mosquito repellents (“repellents”), which are available in numerous variations. But here Prof. Ernst-Gerhard Burmeister advises consumers to take a close look at the ingredients, because only products that contain “Icaridin or Diethyltoluamid (DEET) would be sensible, these are chemical substances that have been found on the basis of lengthy investigations and that actually do May deter mosquitoes. You should always pay attention to these substances if you want to buy mosquito repellents. ”The Stiftung Warentest also advises on products with these ingredients, because the active ingredient DEET is the most effective according to the foundation - but there is also the risk of irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes could become. Accordingly, anti-mosquito products should be kept away from small children, instead the Stiftung Warentest recommends: “Protect babies with clothing and nets. Repellents have no business on baby skin. They are more suitable for children from the age of three. "

Cooling primarily helps with stitches
For those who have been hit despite all the protective measures, experts recommend first and foremost cooling with ice cubes or cooling pads or the use of a cooling gel. In addition, a little spit and a slice of lemon or onion, which is placed on the injection site for a few minutes, often helps. According to dermatologist Prof. Dr. med. Above all, Dietrich Abeck, not to scratch the sting, because in this way bacteria could get into the body and cause inflammation, which in turn could lead to serious infections. Even if mosquito bites are usually harmless - as soon as the area around the puncture swells excessively or other symptoms occur, the doctor should also be consulted as a precaution. (No)

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