Insect Repellent

With summer comes the mosquito. It is now more important then ever to protect yourself and your family. There are several measures you can take to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area and the number of bites you get this year. Removing standing water can help keep the mosquito population lower because standing water acts as breeding ground for mosquitoes. Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when possible will help reduce the number of bites you get. There are also several bug repellents available to further reduce the number of bites and the chance of contracting diseases like the West Nile virus.

Insect repellent works by repelling the mosquito from you, they do not kill mosquitoes. There are several different types of active ingredients available including DEET, P-menthane 3,8-diol, soybean oil, citronella and lavender. All these products are effective but some are better then others. DEET is the most effective of them all and lasts the longest. Despite common misconceptions DEET is safe to use when it is used according to the instructions.

DEET is available in several different concentrations. The higher the concentration the longer it will last. To limit the amount of exposure to the chemical, choose the most appropriate concentration for the amount of time that you require protection. These products should not be used in infants less then 6 months of age. Children between 6 months and 2 years can use the lowest concentration once daily. Between 2 and 12 years, the lowest concentration should be used and can be applied to a maximum of 3 times per day. For people over the age of 12, all products can be used. The product instructions should be followed.

These are some general safety tips to follow when applying insect repellent:
• Only apply the repellent to exposed skin and clothing
• Do not apply to broken or irritated skin, eyes and mouth
• Do not spray directly on the face – apply to hands and then apply to the face
• Children should not apply their own bug repellent. Do not apply it to their hands since they are more likely to put their hands in their mouth.
• Always read the instruction carefully, each product differs in the amount to apply and the number of times it can be applied (over application should be avoided)
• Wash skin and clothing when protection is no longer required

Talk to your Rxellence pharmacist for more information on insect repellents and how to use them safely.