Mosquito-florida photo

Insect Repellent

Use multiple methods to protect yourself from being bitten:

  • Cover as much skin as you can.
  • Spray clothes, as directed below with a repellent.
  • Apply arepellent to exposed skin.
  • Avoid dawn and desk as well as areas where mosquitos are frequently found.

CHOICE OF INSECT REPELLENT

Adults:

  • Choose a product based on length of exposure. If you are only out for a few hours then choose a product with a lower DEET concentration.
  • Products with roughly 20% DEET cream are adequate for most uses.
  • Higher concentration products, for longer coverage:
  • Off Deep Woods for Sportsmen
  • 3M Ultrathon
  • Ultra 20 Controlled release insect repellent: www.sawyer.com

Children:

  • Avoid DEET-containing products on children under age 2 and use sparingly on children under 6
  • Do not apply to the hands
  • Ingredient: roughly 10% or less DEET is better for children
  • Products: OFF!  FamilyCare Insect Repellent IV

Prolonged Exposures

Ask Dr. King for permethrin, a prescription medication, which is applied to vulnerable areas remains active on the skin for 1 week.

General Information

  • Avoid applying it to open skin or around the eyes or mouth
  • Avoid products that contain a sunscreen. DEET can reduce sunscreen SPF and sunscreen need to be
  • reapplied.
  • If using a spray, try to avoid inhaling and apply it to your face after applying it to your hand
  • Do not apply under clothing.
  • Use a product with the lowest DEET concentration that works for you.
  • Avoid DEET on clothing it can damage spandex, rayons, and plastics.
  • Cotton, wool and nylon are not damaged by DEET.
  • A 10 to 30% solution can only be applied once a day.
  • A product with 5% DEET will last 90min if you are inactive; less if you are active.
  • A product with 30% DEET will last 5 hours if you are inactive.
  • Wash off the repellent when you are back indoors.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing, tuck your pants into your shoes and button long sleeves
  • Wear light but not bright colors. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Wear white when near ticks.
  • If conditions are extreme wrap duct tape around sock-pant junction.
  • Avoid wearing fragrances: including soaps, lotions, hair care products and perfumes
  • Oil of eucalyptus protects for 2hrs.
  • Picaridin: Much less effective than DEET. Odorless and less irritating to the skin than DEET: OFF! Family Care Insect Repellent II
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus: Much less effective than DEET. It is a newly approved botanical oil. Effective for only
  • 2 hours, similar to DEET 7%: Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Know your enemy

  • Collect a few mosquitoes and get them examined by your local county extension agent
  • Asian tiger mosquito may have a breeding source nearby: emptying containers of standing water can help reduce the mosquito population.
  • Culex nigiri palpus mosquito frequent drainage ditches and salt marshes

CLOTHING TREATMENT

  • Permethrin Repellant  Aerosol Spray for Clothing:
  • Available at the Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Spray on clothing, not on skin
  • Spay on clothing with just enough to moisten it
  • Allow the garment to dry before wearing
  • Lasts for 10 cycles
  • If stored in a plastic bag it will retain effectiveness longer

GENERAL SUGGESTIONS

  • 3% Citronella candles: smoke from the candles is what works, but unless you are in the smoke, they don’t work.
  • For mosquito bite itching sometimes one or more of the following can help:
  • Coat bites with a solid stick deodorant that contains aluminum
  • Ask for a cortisone prescription
  • Meat tenderizer

For bee, wasp, and hornet bites:

  • Use the edge of a credit card to scrape away the stinger and then cover with meat  tenderizer
  • If you are having shortness of breath go to the emergency room.
  • DEET is effective against biting flies, fleas, chiggers, fleas and ticks
  • To decrease itching, apply warm tap water( about 120 degrees F). Be cautious the water is no hotter otherwise
  • you can get burned. Lukewarm water may make the itching worse.

Ticks

  • Avoid marshy areas, high grass, and bushes
  • Check yourself daily, deer ticks are the size of a poppy seed

Removing

  • Grasp the head near the skin with fine-tipped tweezers
  • Then wash the area with soap and water
  • If you remove a tick within 36 hours your chances of contracting Lyme disease are less than 4%.

Resource: EPA website:  https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you
https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you

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