As we all know, mosquitos and their bites are not just unwanted and annoying, but can lead to some truly devastating illnesses such as West Nile Virus. The most obvious answer to avoid getting a mosquito borne illness is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Because of this fact, it is essential that we keep those pesky bugs at bay! Below, Urgent Care West Hartford has put together your essential summer guide on how to prevent mosquito bites.
Which mosquito repellents actually work?
Mosquito Repellents that work: Remember, mosquito and bug repellents only work on the area that it is applied to, so be diligent when ensuring that you cover every inch of yourself. Bug Guard Plus protects against mosquito bites for only about 23 minutes, on average, but if reapplied regularly will be effective. Bite Blocker for Kids protected against bites for an average of 94 minutes, a winner in our books. DEET-based sprays and lotions are always a good bet, as they have an effective active ingredient, and cover you thoroughly.
Mosquito Repellents that DON’T work: In this category, we will have to mention the too good to be true products. We’re all familiar with those wrist bands that ‘contain DEET’ or ‘contain citronella’, but unfortunately their effectiveness is next to non-existent. Skin-So-Soft and similar products worked as a mosquito repellent for an average of roughly 10 minutes. We would not recommend. Don’t use products that combine DEET and a sunscreen, because insect repellent usually doesn’t need to be applied as often as sunscreen and can become harmful.
What are the best mosquito repellent ingredients?
When it comes to repellents, there are two avenues you can take: Chemical Repellents, and Natural Repellents. Both solutions have been known to work effectively, and truly come down to personal preference. Let’s explore both:
- One of the most effective mosquito repellents is one of the oldest around. DEET. In fact, it’s one of two ingredients in mosquito repellent that the CDC recommends for preventing mosquito-borne diseases.
- Picaridin, fairly new to the U.S., has been used worldwide since the late 90’s, and is know as the best alternative to DEET.
Natural Bug Repellents:
Even though bug repellents such as DEET and Picaridin have been tested, and used in recommended quantities are completely safe, some people prefer a natural alternative. Here is a list of the top natural mosquito repellents:
- Oil of citronella (often sold in candles and wrist bands)
- Catnip oil
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Celery Extract
- Neem Oil
Can I protect myself from mosquitoes without repellent?
There are preventative steps that you can take to prevent mosquito bites, and when used in conjunction with repellents can be very effective. However, we would not suggest using these tactics without the use of repellent.
What can you do to prevent mosquito bites?
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Use air conditioning to prevent bugs getting inside
- Use window and door screens if you have to open them
- Get rid of places that water can collect around your home
- Wear light-colored clothing
At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to our walk-in clinic located at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06119-1801. All our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.