Today is insect repellent awareness day. It seems like everything has a day now! And while many of the "celebrations" feel like an excuse (Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, comes to mind) or a bit of a stretch (National Bat Appreciation Day), this one makes sense to us. We know a thing or two about bug bites, insect stings and repellents.
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET
DEET gets it done. In fact, it's the most effective active ingredient found in insect repellents. The chemical name is N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It's difficult to say, but easy to use. When applied directly to skin it repels insects— not by killing them— but by making it difficult for biting bugs to smell you. Originally designed by the U.S. Army, DEET has been used since the late 1950s and is in hundreds of products registered with the EPA. Consider one of these readily available products or find the insect repellent right for you.
Your body heat attracts mosquitoes, so a spray like OFF! Active may be especially effective if you are working up a sweat with outdoor activities or are playing outside with your kids.
Wipes might be a good alternate to aerosols or spray on products. Check out an easy application, family-friendly product like Cutter mosquito wipes. They even come in several pleasant scents that won't repel your friends!
EPA safety studies confirm that normal use of DEET does not present a health concern to the general population, including children. But effective alternatives include Picaridin, Citronella and p-Menthane-3,8-diol.
OUCH! What if you or your kids still get stung?
The goal is certainly prevention, but unfortunately bites and stings still happen. We've put together a quick reference guide just for you. Identify the most common culprits and their bites as well as the best at home treatment. Of course, any insect bite or sting can result in a potentially dangerous reaction. When in doubt, seek medical attention immediately.