posted by Rod McCoremick, Blog author, Fordia Powered by Epiroc
July 3, 2018
Some people are simply mosquito magnets. In the summer months they are the ones who are endlessly bitten and around whom mosquitos seem to swarm. So if you are a diamond driller who is working on a remote job in the bush, the summer months can be a real pain if the mosquitos love you. While there are many mosquito repellents are available on the market, a lot of them contain chemical ingredients that some people and children may be sensitive to. If you are sensitive to ingredients like DEET and you attract mosquitos, you may think you have to suffer through the summer. Luckily, there are some effective natural ways to keep mosquitos away.
1) Bathe as often as possible
Sweaty skin attracts insects to your body. Mosquitos in particular are attracted by the scent of our sweat. Yeah, it can be difficult to work in the heat and not sweat but anything that can reduce the amount of sweat can help keep mosquitos away. Try to shower more often during the summer months and wear cool clothing. If all else fails, drinking apple cider vinegar can actually have an effect on the smell of our sweat, making it less interesting for mosquitoes.
2) Use vinegar
As mentioned above, drinking cider vinegar can keep mosquitos away from you. Another easy way to keep bugs away when you are outdoors is to spray the outside of your tent or lodging with vinegar. Many insects find this smell overpowering. So, before leaving home for a remote drill site, simply fill a couple of empty spray bottles with vinegar and you'll have a all-natural, effective insect repellent. When using this method of keeping mosquitos away, make a point of not spraying too much vinegar if your co-workers have a strong sense of smell or just hate the smell of vinegar.
3) Use garlic
Taking a garlic capsule daily is another great away to avoid insects while working outdoors. By ingesting a garlic capsule, the scent of garlic will be secreted through your pores, which will act as a natural repellent for many insects. You can also eat a lot of garlic instead of taking a capsule, but this may not be a good idea if you don’t want to annoy others on the drill site.
4) Spray the area
Mosquito barrier or Mosquito Less are all-natural, liquid garlic-based products that you can buy and spray on grass, hedges, decks, etc. to keep mosquitos away for up to a month. Many municipalities are using them for parks, golf courses and school grounds. When mixed with oil and liquid soap, it will adhere to trees, shrubs and grass. If you want to spray it on fabric, simply mix with water alone to avoid staining.
5) Use onions
Like garlic, mosquitos don’t like the smell of onions, making onion juice another fantastic insect repellent. There is an old wife's tale about placing a chopped onion in water to repel mosquitos. It says to place a bowl nearby your outdoor seating area, and swish the water around to release the scent. You can rub a small amount of onion juice onto any exposed areas of your body to repel insects as long as you can handle the smell yourself. Like garlic, the downside to this idea is that a lot of people can't stand the smell of onions, so be cautious.
6) Consider mint
So what are you supposed to do if garlic and onions really bother you? There are other better-smelling options like mint- a plant that also keeps bugs away. Of course, you can’t plant them at your worksite but you make a quick mosquito repellent from mint-flavoured mouthwash. Pour it into a bottle and spray all over to prevent mosquito bites.
7) Use LED lighting
Most people have noticed that bugs swarm around lights at night. Recent research suggests that the type of light that is used will impact the number of insects attracted to it. The results show that a warm LED light bulb is the least attractive to bugs, so change your regular bulbs for LEDs. Not only are they environmentally-friendly LEDs but know we know it can help keep mosquitos away as well.
8) Keep it light
While wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and closed footwear is not always possible, it will provide great protection against mosquitos. You should also try to wear light-coloured clothing, as mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colours. Some say it is because dark colours are easier to spot and some say because mosquitos associate dark colours with bears or other animals with dark fur. Either way, keep to the light colours when choosing your clothes.
Not all of the ideas listed above may not be easy to implement on a drill site, but some will help. You can always remember them for when you get home. Preventing mosquito bites may not seem a priority to some, but remember that mosquitos can carry disease like the Zika or West Nile virus. If you are working in foreign countries, the list can include Dengue virus and malaria.
Safety should always be a priority at work.