Despite the many perks that come with Austin summertime, outdoor BBQ, lounging at Barton Springs Pool and boating on Lake Travis, getting bit by mosquitos is not one of them.
In a mosquito season that lasts until November in Texas, keeping the mozzies at bay is not the ideal way to spend the summer. Plus, according to Pests.org, Texas is in for more mosquitos than average this summer on account of a much wetter than normal summer.
Nationwide, Austin was named the 33rd worst city for mosquitos, so the internet has even thought of some curious ways to prevent them:
In all seriousness, here are some of the best ways to prevent and relieve yourself of those itchy bites.
Topical bug repellent
Preventative sprays and lotions are typically the best ways to prevent getting bites since you are adding a protective layer directly to your skin. For optimal protection, look for products that have either DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. For natural options, essential oils like lavender, rosemary, orange, marigold or basil tend to be most effective.
If you need something on the go and don't have the capacity to bring a clunky can with you, grab some wipes that will fit into your bag or back pocket. Ben's DEET wipes give you a 30% DEET for protection or Natrapel's wipes are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, so they are proven to work.
Have a personal vendetta against mosquitos? A mosquito zapper will stop them in their tracks before you even have to look at them. The Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller will only run you $20 and will stop those pests in their tracks and is activated by heat, so there's no batteries or cords and you'll be unstoppably armed.
Citronella candles are a must for patio spaces, plus they bring a soothing ambiance. You can pick up a citronella candle at almost all places that sell outdoor products. Small sizes will keep you protected on a balcony or small porch, but you might want to opt for a bigger tub if you're planning to be in a more open space.
If you're just trying to keep skeeters from laying eggs in your pond, pool or plants, Summit's Mosquito Dunks will kill larvae for up to 30 days. Bye-bye, baby mosquitos! The little circles are EPA approved and safe for pets, fish and wildlife.
And if you've already been bitten...
Bug Bite Thing
The reason mosquito bites itch is because the mosquito's saliva contains an anticoagulant and proteins that trigger the body's immune response, releasing histamine that causes an itch. The Bug Bite Thing uses suction to extract the saliva or venom from bites, relieving you of itchiness without the aid of topicals.
Calamine or anti-itch lotion
Calamine or over-the-counter anti-itch lotions will save you time, scars and the annoyance of constant itching after a bite-full weekend. Benedryl's itch-stopping gel contains diphenhydramine hydrochloride, a histamine blocker, that will keep that itch at bay for hours.
Cold temperatures reduce inflammation, so applying a cold compress will give you temporary relief. It may not stop itching for good but give it enough time and you might forget about the bite altogether.
Using baking soda on a bite has a similar effect to the Bug Bite Tool, drawing toxins to the surface of your skin. To try it yourself, mix baking soda with just enough water to make it into a paste, slather a generous layer onto the bite and leave it to dry for 10 minutes before washing it away.
Don't let mosquitoes ruin the summer of 2021!
This is not medical advice. If you experiencing an adverse reaction to bites, call a doctor.
Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!