How to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos in Switzerland

How to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos in Switzerland

As the Swiss weather keeps bringing hot sunshine and long warm nights, many people are enjoying making the most of the summer. But there are some aspects of summer that many people prefer to skip, especially getting bitten by mosquitoes. Getting bitten can be really itchy, can sometimes even hurt, and it’s very difficult to resist the temptation to scratch.

Let’s look at seven less well-known ways to prevent those nasty mosquito bites. 

1. Wear light-coloured and loose-fitting clothing

Wearing light-coloured clothing when you’re out and about could make a difference to whether or not you're going to get bitten by mosquitoes. Deep and dark colours, like black, deep blue, and red, have been proven to attract mosquitos, since the colours stand out.

Also, make sure to cover up! Try wearing thicker fabrics and looser fitting clothes, as it offers more protection than thin, tight-fitting clothing. You can also buy repellant made with permethrin designed specifically for clothing, or you can buy clothes pre-treated with the insecticide.

Light coloured loose fitting clohing to prevent mosquitoes in Switzerland

2. Avoid going outdoors during sunrise and sunset

Mosquitoes can fly during any time of the day or night, but there are certainly peak points where they are more active. During dusk and dawn is when you’re most likely to come across the critters, so try to avoid being out during these times as much as possible. 

3. Try not to use scented hygiene products or perfume

During times when there could be mosquitoes, it's a good idea to try and minimise the use of scented products such as shower gel and perfumes, instead opting for fragrance-free options. Scientists say keeping your body cool can have a big impact, as mosquitoes are attracted to pheromones released in your sweat, so staying hydrated could help. While the initial instinct to cover up the scent of your sweat with scented products might seem logical, it can actually have the opposite effect and attract the bugs. Any scented perfume, lotion, or deodorant could potentially attract mosquitoes, so try not to avoid them.

Apparently, some studies have also shown that drinking beer can make you more appealing to mosquitoes, so choose your drink wisely - perhaps best stick to water!

4. Embrace the wind

Wind is your friend during peak mosquito days, since it makes it tricky for the insects to fly. One of the reasons mosquitoes go on the hunt at dusk and dawn is because typically the wind dies down as the sun rises and sets. Any level of wind makes it difficult for mosquitoes to fly, so if you pick a breezy spot when you’re next in the park or at the beach then that can help prevent getting bitten. 

Alternatively, fans can also work pretty well, specifically if the flow of air is directed at the lower half of your body. Mosquitoes tend to fly very close to the ground in an attempt to avoid wind, so if the fan is facing downward it will deter them.

5. Keep away from ponds and standing water

You're more likely to spot mosquitoes near standing water such as your garden pond or in empty plantpots. Mosquitoes can easily breed in small containers of stagnant water. If you have a full bucket or flower pot anywhere in or around your home, make sure to throw it out. Or, if your garden has a pond, add some mosquito-eating fish, like minnows or mosquito fish, or add a waterfall or fountain to keep the water moving.

If you’re out in a park or visiting somewhere with a lot of stagnant water, try to stay as far away from it as possible. 

Garden pond attracting mosquites in Switzerland

6. Produce less CO2

Though it may seem a little strange, carbon dioxide (CO2) attracts mosquitoes to their food source, and when your heart rate is elevated you produce more CO2. From exercise to drinking alcohol to eating spicy food - these can all elevate your heart rate. 

So instead try to avoid anything that you know will speed up your metabolic rate and increase CO2 production. Or, if you’re going out and know your heart rate will rise, make sure to wear protective clothing or use insect repellent. 

7. Spend time around mosquito-repellent plants

If you're seeking a long-term solution, it might be a good idea to get some mosquito-repellant plants in your garden. While adding the plants may not be very effective on its own, they could help to discourage mosquitoes from hanging around your home. 

Planting a lot of plants such as citronella, lavender, lemongrass, marigolds, and basil could have a real impact on your garden. Similarly, spreading coffee grounds and tea waste around your garden could limit the reproduction of mosquitoes in the area.

This article originally appeared on IamExpat in the Netherlands.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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