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Beware, mosquitos out for a bite

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WATCH out for the mosquitoes – especially if you are wearing perfume or deodorant.

Sweet-scented early-morning golfers are most at risk of attack from increasing plagues of the insects, medical chiefs have warned.

Experts say the fine summer weather has seen a surge in the number of mosquitoes and midges, particularly in coastal areas.

Dr Graham Fry, of the Tropical Medical Bureau, said mosquitoes are living on average for four extra days of their usual 10-day lifespan because of the continued heatwave.

And he said that midges, in particular, are gathering in golf courses in the early mornings and targeting people wearing perfume.

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Dr Fry said coastal areas in north Co Dublin – in particular, Malahide – tend to have the biggest infestations.

"They occur in other areas, but that's probably the area we mostly hear about.

"It's due to the heat, humidity and the moisture in the area. So anywhere that's within a wide expanse of water, those sort of areas get mosquitoes around.

"The heatwave has made a difference, because in the heat mosquitoes and midges are able to multiply and stay for a significantly longer period.

"They normally live for 10 days, but in the hotter weather they can live for longer and therefore get stronger.

"Golf courses are places where midges love to go, especially first thing in the morning and particularly if you wear lots of aftershave, deodorant or hairspray.

"The smells will attract them into your area and of course they bite because they're looking for food," he said.

Dr Fry also advised people who have been bitten to rub their skin rather than scratch it.

"You shouldn't scratch, because when you scratch you're putting dirt from your fingernails into the actual area and it will get infected."

For more on our heatwave, see page 8


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