What you need to know about insect repellants
DEET ( a short name for a long chemical compound) is the most effective insect repellants for mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks.
How do you choose which repellant to use?
1. 10-30% DEET will provide enough protection under most circumstances
2. Don't use products containing more than 10& DEET on children.
3. The higher the concentration of DEET, the longer the repelling action lasts.. but there is a higher risk in adverse reactions.
Natural products to repel insects
1. Soybean oil repels mosquitoes for 3-4 hours
2. Citronella oil has to be reapplied every 1-2 hours
3. They are effective but do not last as long as DEET containing repellants
Guidelines for the safe use of insect repellants
1. Use just enough repellant to lightly cover the skin.
2. Do not apply repellants under clothing.
3. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth. Do not apply to children's hands, because they are likely to touch their eyes or mouth.
4. Never use over cuts or on irratated skin
5. Do not use in children under 2 months of age.
Use of insect repellants and sunscreen
The recommendation is to apply the sunscreen first and then apply the repellant just before going outdoors.
The CDC does not recommend using combination sunscreen/insect repellants products because the DEET does not need to be reapplied as frequently as the sunscreen. Since suncreens require frequent reapplication, combination products may result in excessive DEET use and possible adverse effects.