4 ways to protect your family from mosquitoes

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The information concerning the Zika virus presumably inflicting microcephaly in infants has everybody speaking about — and anxious about — mosquitoes. It’s not simply the Zika virus that may be unfold by mosquitoes; these bugs additionally unfold different diseases, corresponding to malaria, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, West Nile virus, jap equine encephalitis, and Japanese encephalitis.

It ought to be mentioned that almost all people who find themselves bitten by mosquitoes don’t get sick with something. However in case you are dwelling in or touring to an space the place these diseases are prevalent, it’s essential to know the 4 greatest methods to guard your self and your loved ones:

  • Select your garments properly. Light-weight lengthy sleeves and lengthy pants are your greatest wager; spraying clothes with insect repellent might assist much more.
  • Create boundaries between you and the mosquitoes. Staying inside, in air-conditioned buildings or buildings with good screens that don’t let in mosquitoes, is a method to do this. You can too use mosquito netting; you should use it round beds and in addition round child strollers. Spraying the netting with insect repellent is a good suggestion.
  • Be careful for standing water. That’s the place mosquitoes breed. In case you can empty it out, try this. In case you can’t, don’t hang around close to it.
  • Use insect repellents. The simplest one is DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Mosquitoes don’t like the way it smells, so that they avoid it. The upper the proportion of DEET within the repellent, the longer the safety: 10% protects for a few hours, 20% about twice that.

The way to use insect repellent successfully and safely

DEET does have unwanted effects. The commonest one is pores and skin irritation, and it’s essential to not apply it to areas with scratches, cuts, or rashes. If ingested, it could possibly trigger nausea or vomiting. Ingesting massive quantities of it, or utilizing excessive percentages for lengthy durations of time, can result in neurologic issues corresponding to seizures, however that is very uncommon.


The American Academy of Pediatrics says that percentages as much as 30% are secure in youngsters — however you shouldn’t apply it to infants youthful than 2 months previous. For greatest safety, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends utilizing no less than 20%.

There are different insect repellent choices, too:

  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD, the man-made model), which may be very efficient and is secure. It shouldn’t be used on youngsters underneath 3 years previous, nevertheless — it’s not well-studied sufficient.
  • Picaridin, which may be very efficient in opposition to mosquitoes (however not a lot in opposition to ticks — so maintain that in thoughts for those who want safety in opposition to each). It may possibly trigger delicate pores and skin irritation or irritation of the eyes for those who get some there.
  • 2-undecanone (IBI-246), a chemical naturally present in varied vegetation. It may possibly shield for as much as 4-5 hours and is unhazardous.
  • IR-3535, which is the energetic ingredient in Avon insect repellents (and a few others as properly). It lasts for about 2 hours. It may possibly trigger eye irritation for those who spray it there accidentally, however is in any other case very secure.

The Environmental Safety Company has an amazing software that can assist you discover the insect repellent that works greatest in your specific scenario. It doesn’t matter what you employ:

  • Be sure a grownup does the spraying.
  • By no means spray straight on the face; spray it in your fingers and use your fingers to use it to the face (after which wash your fingers!)
  • At all times spray in an open space, to restrict how a lot you find yourself inhaling.
  • Reapply if actually wanted, however accomplish that sparingly.
  • Whenever you come dwelling on the finish of the day, wash everybody up properly with cleaning soap and water — and make sure you wash any sprayed clothes earlier than it’s worn once more.

To be taught extra about mosquito-borne ailments and how one can shield your self, go to the web site of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

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