Whether you’re dining al fresco or sitting pool side, mosquitoes will be sure to crash just about any outdoor activity this summer. From candles, bracelets and even ultrasound devices, many brands have claimed their products can repel these pesky insects. But how can we be sure that what we’re buying truly works as advertised?
All in the DEET-ails
It’s understandable that consumers may prefer “natural ingredients” over chemical-based products. Especially when bug sprays can leave the skin feeling sticky. But when it comes to preventing Zika, Dengue or other mosquito-borne illnesses, products that contain DEET are your best defense. Unlike most of-the-moment bug repellant products, DEET has been proven to be effective in preventing bites.
Other DEET facts include:
- Alcohol consumption should be avoided when wearing the repellent. Drinking alcohol can cause more DEET to be absorbed through the skin
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), DEET should only be applied to children who are older than 2 months
- The AAP also recommends that DEET should be applied no more than one time per day for children older than two months
- When applying DEET to little ones, use the lowest concentration available
Bugs in the wind
Believe it or not, mosquitoes are not strong flyers. You can throw them off their game by simply using a fan. Use a battery operated fan if you’re not near a power source for electric or ceiling fans.
A garden variety
Those seeking natural bug repellents can find solace in the garden. Lavender, basil, mint, catnip, rosemary, garlic, or lemon grass are not only fragrant but useful. Strategically planting these varieties of herbs and flowers can help repel mosquitoes and other pests like snakes, ticks, mice, ants, fleas and more.
No room to grow
Don’t give mosquitoes a chance to breed. Items like empty flower pots, bird baths and other containers that hold standing water should be removed from the yard. Make sure gutters drain properly to prevent water pooling. And keep backyard pools and spas clean and chlorinated.