This week the Governor of Florida declared Miami Zika-free. That’s great news, but if you’re heading to other destinations where Zika is prevalent, you’ll want to leave your dark-colored clothing at home. According to Joe Conlon, the technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association, the mosquito that is the culprit is “generally Aedes aegypti.”
From a SmarterTravel.com story: “The species is prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, and is found across the Southern U.S. and the Eastern Seaboard as far north as Connecticut. It can be extremely annoying. ‘They prefer the lower extremities on the body—from the knees on down,’ Conlon says.”
Conlon goes on to say: “Aedes aegypti is probably the most-studied mosquito on earth.” And the countless entomologists who have studied them agree that they are “definitely attracted to darker colors.” So make sure your clothing is light colored when you’re in these areas and make sure the clothing is loose-fitting since they can bite through clothing.
Also, wear bug spray. (“Aedes aegypti is repelled by all EPA-registered mosquito repellants, including DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. A 25-to-30 percent formulation of DEET should provide four hours of protection.”) And if you go swimming or sweat, make sure to reapply frequently.
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