West Nile virus is back, and here to stay. It's important to prevent being bit by a mosquito infected with West Nile virus as you enjoy summer activities.
To avoid mosquitoes you can stay indoors between dusk and dawn, and stay away from places where they breed and thrive. But in the summer you'll often be outside when mosquitoes are. That's why it's important to use a mosquito repellent when you're outdoors.
Choose a repellent that best fits your needs based on:
Mosquito repellents are not all the same. Different brands might have different ingredients. Repellents made for adults may not be appropriate for kids, or one repellent may only offer a half hour of protection while another gives five hours of protection.
When choosing a repellent ask yourself the following questions so you know what is right for you:
Cautions: Children should not use repellents that contain more than 30% DEET. Children under three should not use repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus because they have not been significantly tested on children of that age. Never use a repellent on an infant younger than two months. Instead, use a carrier draped with mosquito netting, or avoid taking infant outdoors where and when mosquitoes are likely to be present.
Do not use a repellent that is combined with sunscreen. The sunscreen will need to be reapplied more often than the repellent so you might end up using too much repellent.
The following chart can help you determine the best repellent for your situation. Remember: always read the label.
Products containing premethrin are intended to be used on clothing and/or gear, but not to be applied directly to skin.
|Product Name:||Main Ingredient:||Protection Time:|
|Sawyer Controlled Release (slow release over hours)||DEET 20%||up to 20 hours|
|OFF! Deep Woods||DEET 25%||up to 8 hours|
|Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent||Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus||up to 6 hours|
|Cutter Advanced||Picaridin 7%||up to 4 hours|
|OFF! Skintastic||DEET||2 hours|
|Bite Blocker for Kids||Soybean Oil||1.5 hours|
|OFF! Skintastic for Kids||DEET||1.5 hours|
|Skin-so-Soft Bug Guard Plus||IR3535||23 minutes|
|Herbal Armor||Citronella, Peppermint Oil,||19 minutes|
|Cedar Oil, Lemongrass Oil|
|Green Ban for People||Citronella, Peppermint Oil||14 minutes|
|Buzz Away||Citronella Oil||10 minutes|
|Skin-so-Soft Bug Guard||Citronella Oil||10 minutes|
|Skin-so-Soft Moisturizing Suncare||Citronella Oil||3 minutes|
Products containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and picaridin are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Products containing citronella oil and IR3535 have met applicable standards of the EPA.
For more detailed information on repellents, visit the following websites:
Information for this fact sheet adapted from the Centers for Disease Control.