Well, how do we avoid the itch and discomfort from insect and mosquito bites? In my household I rarely get bitten however with my wife it's a different story.She will get covered with bites pretty quickly.Now why is that? Some research indicates the "estrogen" content of women's skin may provide a source of insect attraction. Some researchers also feel that scented products found in perfume and skin and hair care products that may attract those pesky insects.

So now what do we do? Let's talk a bit about making your selves less of a target to prevent bites.

-- Use clothing as a barrier to cover your skin and that means long sleeves and pants to aid protection.

-- Keep window screens in good working order.

-- Avoid prime biting times such as early in the morning and evening as you are more likely to get bitten during dawn and dusk.

-- Use insect repellents safely, that means really "reading" the label on how and when to apply

-- Do not over apply, especially near wounds and cuts

-- Wash off with soap and water when you come inside

-- Avoid applying repellent to children's hands (they may put their fingers in the mouth)

-- Wear colors that "blend" in with the background, mosquitoes love color contrast

Check out the CDC: Insect Repellent Use and Safety webpage for more detailed information at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. No information in this blog is intended to diagnose or treat any condition.