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Central Georgia expert offers tips to keep bugs at bay during mosquito season

To avoid the bites, wear long sleeves or pants, avoid going outside between the dusk and dawn hours and use repellents with DEET.

MACON, Ga. — The summertime can sting when it comes to mosquitoes, but people with a green thumb know how to swat them away. We’ll  share some tips on keeping the bugs at bay. 

Rosa Rivera Torres has a bit of a green thumb.

"We like to grow herbs. We have fruit trees and we also have flowers,” she says. 

Torres just moved to Georgia from Rochester, New York eight months ago. She explains that it’s a much colder state and she and her family were in for a surprise. 

"When I moved here all, these mosquitoes started attacking me. I didn't know where they were coming from, and of course, I wake up itchy all over, red little spots, and it's just annoying,” she says. 

Torres says that she’s the only one out of her family that gets bitten often, but she says she’s learned a couple of tricks to keep them away. 

"I went to the supermarket and bought a spray that said it was a repellent for mosquitoes, ”she says. “I also read that I could buy plants that could keep away mosquitoes."

Reese Terry Johnson owns Johnson's Garden Center and says natural plant repellents are real like chives, basil, garlic, and marigolds. 

"This is a cross between a scented-geranium and an African grass you've heard -- citrosa, citronella. This is in some of the bug sprays and candles. It's the odor or the aroma from the plant,” he explains. 

Johnson tells us that if you have standing or still water like a puddle or a watering can, there's bound to be mosquito larva. However, here are some tips on how to best protect yourself from getting bitten this season.

Dr. Sabry Gabriel is a family physician with Atrium Health Navicent in Macon says that mosquitoes are more likely to bite some people more than others. 

"It's a certain skin aromas or pheromones attract mosquitoes more than others,” Gabriel says. 

He says to avoid the bites, wear long sleeves or pants, avoid going outside between the dusk and dawn hours and use repellents with DEET.

Dr. Gabriel says if you've already been bitten, you can apply ice, aloe vera, and other allergy medicines that can help keep you from itching.