Insect Repellents | How To Choose And Use

Protecting yourself from mosquito bites is really important as they’re quite itchy and can spread various diseases like Lyme, Zika Virus, and West Nile, etc. People use insect repellents as they reduce the risk of being bitten by insects and thus reducing the risk of getting a disease carried by mosquitoes or ticks. As various products are available in the market to repel mosquitoes, it gets hard to decide which product to use. The following information below will be useful to you and help you decide on insect repellents.

How to choose an insect repellent?

If you’re looking for an insect repellent, make sure to choose a repellent based on the amount of time you need protection from mosquitoes. The active ingredients available in insect repellents are DEET, Picardin, IR 3535, and Oil of lemon eucalyptus. The repellents with higher percentage of the active ingredients offer long-lasting protection.

You can also use repellents that contain permethrin. You can use it for extra protection from mosquitoes. Spray it on your clothes and gear but make sure not to apply permethrin on the skin. Spray it on your clothes and allow it to dry properly before wearing your clothes.

Read the directions of use properly and follow them. Avoid applying products that contain both sunscreen and insect repellent. If you need to apply both products, use sunscreen first.

IS DEET safe to use?

DEET is one of the most popular insect repellents and is safe to use, if you use it as per the directions. But sometimes it can cause skin rashes! Prefer to choose a mosquito repellent that contains up to 30% of DEET. Apply lower concentrations of DEET to kids if they’ll be playing outdoors for an hour or two. Consider applying a mosquito repellent with higher concentration of DEET for longer outdoor stays.

Insect repellents safe for kids and during pregnancy

Insect repellents that contain DEET up to 30% are safe to use for kids of age two months or older. Avoid using oil of lemon eucalyptus on kids below three years. Make sure to double-check the label to know whether an insect repellent is safe to use on a child. The insect repellents with active ingredients DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding if used as per directions.

Tips to use insect repellents

  • Don’t apply mosquito repellents on skin directly, or on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Avoid using repellents on eyes or mouth. You can apply slightly around ears.
  • Don’t spray repellents directly on the face. Spray it on your hands first and then apply to the face.
  • Keep mosquito repellents out of reach of children.
  • Avoid heavy application of repellents. You can apply a bit more if a thin film doesn’t work.
  • Make sure to wash your treated skin properly after returning indoors.
  • Never put permethrin on skin. Spray it on your clothes, bed nets, or gears.
  • Don’t apply insect repellent to cats or dogs. Talk to your vet about options for pets.

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