Tips for Protecting Your Family Against Bug Bites

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on July 17, 2019 with No Comments

By StatePoint

From hikes to picnics to relaxing in the hammock, nothing ruins summer fun quite as fast as bug bites. Unfortunately, bug bites are more than just a nuisance. They can trigger allergic reactions in some people, and may transmit diseases like Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease.

Taking these precautions this summer can help the whole family stay bite-free.

Drain the Swamp

Standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Walk around your property after rainfall or after watering the lawn and take note of areas that are not draining properly or are catching and holding water in objects like garden buckets, lids and frisbees. The smallest puddle of water can breed mosquitos. Drain everything you find.

Choose the Right Bug Spray

Lyme Disease expert, Dr. Michael Jacobs, MD says “When shopping for insect repellents look for those with the active ingredients DEET or Picaridin, two of the most effective active ingredients at preventing bug bites. Stronger concentrations of the active ingredient in the formula will give you more hours of protection. For example, a 10 percent DEET or 7 percent Picaridin formula provides one to two hours of protection, while higher concentrations provide protection for eight hours and longer.”

Safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women, and a popular choice for families, Natrapel Tick & Insect Repellant uses the CDC recommended 20 percent Picaridin active ingredient and provides up to 12 hours of protection against mosquitoes and ticks. This formula is also safe on gear and comes in variety of sprays and wipes for easy application.

For outdoor enthusiasts, DEET is the best-selling active ingredient in the U.S. For a trusted choice, consider Ben’s Tick & Insect Repellent, the first brand to register a 10-hour, 100 percent DEET formula with the EPA. The brand also offers an eight-hour, 30 percent DEET water-based formula that is made to evaporate slowly — so repellent stays on longer with little absorption into the skin.

Cover Up and Be Smart

Make your skin less vulnerable to bug bites with smart fashion choices. When outdoors, particularly in wooded areas, wear loose-fitting long sleeves and pants. Light colors are a good choice, as mosquitoes seem to prefer darker clothing.

Why Me?

Have you ever felt you were being eaten alive by mosquitoes, while everyone else around you remained unaffected? There are many factors that can make one person more appealing than another to mosquitoes. And some are beyond one’s control, such as blood type and genetics. However, mosquitoes are attracted to sweat, so don’t forget the deodorant. They also seem to prefer beer drinkers, according to a study by Japanese researchers.

Vacation or Staycation

Get savvy when traveling. Research your destination so you know what types of insects you can expect to encounter. Staying nearby? Remember, most species of mosquitoes in the U.S. are busiest at dusk. During those hours, take extra precautions to avoid becoming their meal.

This summer, stay safe and comfortable by thinking about these strategies. By doing so, you will keep the bugs at bay so you can play.



Prevent Mosquito Bites 

Mosquito bites are bothersome enough, it’s important that you choose an insect repellent that works well and that you feel comfortable regularly using.

  • Cover up:Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents work with no side effects.
  • The effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents, are proven safe and effective.
  • To protect yourself consider bringing insect repellent with you.
  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed. Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.  If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first.

For more information: visit www2.epa.gov/insect-repellents



Hoosiers urged to take precautions against mosquitoes to prevent disease

Only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals; males feed on flower nectar


As weather has approached warm, so does the risk of mosquito bites.  State health officials are urging Hoosiers to protect themselves against mosquito bites at home and abroad to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus and Zika virus.

“Mosquitoes can transmit many illnesses, some of which can have tragic consequences, so it’s important that Hoosiers take steps to prevent bites and eliminate breeding grounds,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams. “These precautions will protect not only you and your family, but also your neighbors and your community.”

The most common mosquito-borne illness identified in Indiana is West Nile virus. Indiana has confirmed six cases of Zika virus in residents so far this year, but all have been associated with international travel. The risk of local transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes remains low in Indiana, but there are steps Hoosiers can take to reduce the risk even further:

  • Avoid outdoor activity at times and places where mosquitoes are biting;
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and socks when outdoors;
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to exposed skin;
  • Take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds outside your home.

Hoosiers can control mosquitoes in and around the home by installing or repairing window and door screens; removing, overturning or covering containers where water can collect outdoors; flushing out bird baths, pet dishes and kiddie pools once a week; properly disposing of used tires; repairing damaged septic systems; cleaning clogged gutters; and keeping grass and shrubbery trimmed. Support your community’s vector control program, which may include spraying to kill adult mosquitoes or treating standing water to kill mosquito larvae.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) continually conducts surveillance to look for human cases of mosquito-borne diseases. Each summer, ISDH traps mosquitoes in all 92 counties and tests them for mosquito-borne diseases commonly found in Indiana, such as West Nile virus. ISDH is doing enhanced surveillance in 2016 to look for the types of mosquitoes associated with Zika virus transmission.

For important health and safety information,visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov.


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