Summer is meant to be enjoyed with friends and family outdoors but there’s nothing worse than having an afternoon ruined by the pesky mozzie.

Mosquitoes love the warmer weather just as much as we do, and this summer is no exception, with wetter and warmer days than usual creating the perfect breeding conditions for the little blood suckers.

Between a trusty repellent and taking extra care when you’re both indoors and outdoors, you can protect your family and rescue the backyard BBQ or camping holiday.

Here are a few handy tips for reducing the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes and what to do if you or your family do get attacked.

Protect the family at home by preparing for the summer months

The humble fly screen is often overlooked, however it’s one of the easiest ways to protect your family indoors, especially as you sleep at night.

Ensure each window and door is fitted with a fly screen while also taking stock on those you do have installed, checking for holes or wear and tear. Mosquitoes are small insects, so you’ll want to patch or cover up any holes or tears in screens, where they might be able to sneak in and surprise you while enjoying a family meal or sleeping.

If this isn’t possible, consider installing a bed net throughout the summer months.

Handy tips for reducing the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes and what to do if you or your family do get attacked.

Enjoy what the outdoors has to offer

If staying indoors isn’t your cup of tea you can still enjoy the outdoors, but with a few simple precautions.

You can limit skin exposure to mosquitoes by covering up with loose fitting, long-sleeved clothing before heading outside however, covering up in summer isn’t always possible. It’s also important to keep in mind that mosquitoes can bite through clothing, so go for two-pronged protection and wear alongside a long lasting repellent with a proven protection time.

This summer, Bushman has released Naturals, a pump spray repellent offering up to 9 hours of protection that is sweat and water resistant and safe for the whole family (12 months +).

If you prefer a bit more ambience, add a citronella candle or coil in conjunction with repellent, to limit the number of mozzies buzzing around the table.

As always, be sure to take extra precautions if you’re in a high-risk mosquito zone such as marshes, high grass areas or near bodies of water by checking with your local council or on the Smart Traveller website for information based on your current location or destination.

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What to do if you’ve received a bite

If you’ve been attacked by a mosquito before you were able to apply repellant or light a citronella candle, resist the temptation of itching at all costs to avoid any scarring to skin.

Wash the area well and apply a topical treatment like calamine lotion to help reduce itching and inflammation. Alternatively, wrap an ice pack in a towel or a cool face washer to minimise pain and swelling.

I got bitten by a mozzie a while ago and something doesn’t feel right

While many of us are used to the itchy and inflamed reaction that a mosquito can inflict, a bite also increases the risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases.

One of the most common mosquito-borne viruses in Australia is Ross River virus. It’s not commonly known about, and more often than not it is heard about through family or friends who have been diagnosed with it in the past.

Spread through the bite of an infected female mosquito, Ross River virus is a viral infection that can go undetected for months before serious symptoms are felt including fever, muscle tenderness, rashes or chronic fatigue.

While there is unfortunately no specific treatment for the Ross River virus infection, if you’re not feeling well and you suspect you may have contracted Ross River virus book an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to conduct testing and advise you on what medications can be used to help ease any symptoms.