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Mosquito Repellent Information

There are all sorts of bug repellants in the stores these days.  With dozens of products to choose from, it is a good idea to know a little about what actually works, and what doesn’t.  Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent to skin.  Some repellents are not suitable for children.  Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, but not under clothing.

According to the Florida Mosquito Control Association, products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended.  Other EPA-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, methyl nonyl ketone, or IR3535.  These products are generally available at local pharmacies.  Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.

When protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate.  In an official document from the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3 years.  DEET should not be used on children younger than 18 months old.

Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are present.  If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing.  Permethrin is a common synthetic chemical, widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, and insect repellent.  It belongs to the family of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids and functions as a neurotoxin, affecting neuron membranes by prolonging sodium channel activation.  It is not known to rapidly harm most mammals or birds, but is dangerously toxic to fish and to cats: in cats it may induce hyperexcitability, tremors, seizures, and even death. In general, it has a low mammalian toxicity and is poorly absorbed by skin.  In medicine, permethrin is a first-line treatment for scabies; a 5% (w/w) cream is marketed by Johnson & Johnson under the name Lyclear. In Nordic countries and North America, it is marketed under trade name Nix, often available over the counter.  It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. (Wikipedia)

Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.  Limit outdoor activity at when mosquitoes are most active.  Avoid areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.

Oil of citronella is a naturally occurring insect and animal repellent distilled from two grass varieties. It is a mixture of many components which vary by grass variety. Some oil of citronella products are applied to animal or human skin, ornamental plants, or other outdoor areas.  Oil of citronella is currently on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s list of minimum risk pesticides. Citronella can be found in over a dozen registered pesticide products. Some of these products are applied to animal or human skin, ornamental plants, or other outdoor areas. Oil of citronella can be formulated into sprays, lotions, candles, pellets, and pouches. It can also be found in some sunscreen products, wristbands, and flea collars.

28 Jul

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