Dealing with Mosquitoes While Running

Running in the summer while watching the sunrise can be a beautiful start to your day, unless mosquitoes show up. Mosquitoes are especially attracted to people during and after strenuous exercise, so runners often find themselves itchy victims of mosquito attacks. Don’t let mosquitoes scare you away from your daily run. There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself while running outdoors this summer.

Putting on Repellent

It’s recommended that you wear a repellent with at least 20% DEET because it repels the best against ticks and mosquitoes, it works for hours without reapplication, and holds up against sweat. There are also a few roll-on repellents that can be less greasy than a spray-on repellent and can even be applied to your face if need be. If you’re uncomfortable with certain chemicals being absorbed into your skin, there are a few other options you can try. There are companies that make clip-on repellents. These can be clipped to a belt buckle or your shirt and are equipped with a tiny fan that sends out repellent into the air surrounding you. You can even use plant-derived repellents that contain eucalyptus, soybean oil or citronella. The only problem with some of the plant-derived repellents is that they wear off easily and must therefore be reapplied often.

Choosing your Clothing

Your clothing choice can also be a good tool against mosquito bites. Some runners chose to run with a mosquito head net attached to their hat or an insect blocker jacket, both of which can be found online. It is always a good idea to wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves. Many athletic clothing brands make lightweight gear to keep you from overheating.


If possible, avoid running at sunrise or sunset because these are peak activity hours for mosquitoes. Try running closer to the middle of the day. Avoid heavily wooded or grassy areas because these areas are more likely to provide mosquitoes with shelter and a breeding ground. If you do get bitten, cover the bite with a bandage to keep yourself from scratching it. Scratching a bite increases the risk of infection.
While it is impossible to completely avoid mosquitoes while exercising outdoors in the summer, these steps will greatly reduce the amount of itchy bites you’ll have to endure.