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Insect Repellents

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Insect repellents are our primary way to protect ourselves from mosquitoes, ticks, and their like. Preventing the previously discussed illnesses, Lyme, EEE, WNV, and Zika can be done through the use of insect repellents.

You want to look for a product that contains one of the following ingredients:

-DEET (Typically found in OFF! products)

-Picaridin (Found in Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus)

-Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (Found in Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus and OFF! Family Care)

All 3 ingredients have been proven effective when used as indicated on the label of the product you are applying. Choose a product based on the amount of time you need it to work. How long a product works depends on the concentration of the active ingredient. Higher concentrations do not work better, they do work longer though!!!

For example, a spray containing 5% DEET, will provide almost 1.5 hours of protection, whereas a 25% DEET product provides about 5 hours of protection. The CDC recommends 20% or higher to reduce tick bites.

10% Picaridin will provide 5 hours of protection against mosquitoes and up to 7 hours for ticks. 20% protects for up to 7 hours against mosquitos and up to 8 hours against ticks.

DEET and Picaridin are chemical compounds, while Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is an all-natural product. All-natural does not mean safer. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus should not be used on those less than 3 years of age, whereas, DEET in concentrations up to 30%, can be used on kids 2 months and older. ALWAYS double-check the label to make sure the insect repellent you are selecting is okay to use on a child.

Some tips for safe use:

A higher percentage of repellent means longer lasting NOT stronger

Don’t apply to cuts or wounds

Don’t apply to eyes or mouth

Don’t spray on the face! Spray on hands, then apply to face.

Wash skin with soap and water when back indoors

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