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Allergy Experts Say The Best Mosquito Season Strategy Is Prevention

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The blood suckers are back, and they can come carrying diseases like West Nile or Zika.

Mosquitoes can be miserable, but as CBS2's Vanessa Murdock explained there are ways that you can protect yourself.

"I hate them. If there's a crowd of people they find me," Gabrielle Pulla said.

The best strategy is prevention, and Dr. Cliff Bassett - the Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York -- said get ready because mosquitoes are here to stay and the population is growing.

"Studies have shown a three-fold increase over the past 10 years or more," Dr. Bassett said.

The little buggers are most active at dawn and dusk, and will bite if you don't protect yourself.

The easiest thing to do is wear light-colored, long clothing.

Experts also recommend staying away from scented beauty products. Mosquitoes love it when you smell good. They also love carbon dioxide, so exercising actually increases the likelihood of having your blood drawn because you're breathing out more CO2.

"Repellents do work," Bassett said.

He recommended repellents with at least 25 percent DEET or those with picaridin which is applied to your clothing.

"I don't want to put any of the chemicals on them," Jackie Culang said.

If you're concerned about your kids then oil of lemon eucalyptus offers a natural solution.

Barrett urged consumers to follow the instructions for each individual repellent to know how to apply it and how often.

"You do not want to apply to a very young child without supervision," he explained.

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to stave off those miserable mosquitoes is with a fan.

"If it's going to blow more than 1.8-mph the mosquitoes not going to land," Bassett said.

Dr. Barrett said if you get bitten and have a big reaction, over the counter antihistamines can reduce itching and swelling by 50 percent.


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