I think we all expect to have a few mosquito bites as spring arrives. I always enjoy those first few campfires in the backyard, before the bugs come back. And then, out of nowhere, you're enjoying your fire, and here they come. It happens about the same time every night. The mosquitos arrive and everybody hustles inside.

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We all know getting just one mosquito bite can be aggravating. It can itch and drive you insane for days and sometimes weeks. I'm still recovering from the last ankle feast they enjoyed about a week ago. I have a bracelet of mosquito bites all around my feet, and ON my feet, my toes...ugh! Every time I take a bath, they start to itch like crazy!


That being said, not only are mosquito bites aggravating, they can be especially dangerous in the months of July through September. This is the time of year that is highest for mosquitos to spread disease to humans. On top of that, we have the extra added fear this year that the mosquito that carries the West Nile Virus,  The Culex Tarsalis, has been discovered in Minnesota. The La Crosse virus is spread to humans by the Tree-hole mosquito, and the Jamestown Canyon Virus is spread to humans through many varieties of the Aedes mosquito. I've never even HEARD of the last two, but you don't want to chance it.


There are really only three ways that are recommended to protect yourself against mosquito bites, and one of them seems pretty ridiculous for Minnesotans.

1. Don't go outside.  Seriously. That's one of the recommendations. This one is pretty hard for us to do here in Minnesota.

2. Wear loose fitting clothes that are light in color and shirts that are long sleeved with long pants. I get the loose fitting part, but it's been tough to be so covered up this summer with our hot temps.

3. That leaves just one other option. Use a bugs pray that contains at least 30% DEET. It's important to spray your clothes, and important for you to wash off any bug spray when you come inside.


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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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