Recent rains and warm temperatures have produced a bumper crop of flood plain mosquitoes. Fortunately, these annoying biters are just that, annoying; they don’t carry disease. Unfortunately, The Woodlands has other species that do. So, before you head outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, reach for a repellent that keeps the biters at bay.
There are nearly 50 species of mosquitoes in The Woodlands and likely as many choices of repellent. Make it easy on yourself, choose one that contains one of the four, EPA approved active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus. EPA makes it even easier to find a repellent that meets your specific needs with their online search tool.
When protecting children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that products contain no more than 30 percent DEET. Apply to your hand first and then rub onto the child. Children should never handle repellents. And avoid products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
Regardless of age, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that sunscreen should be applied first and insect repellent second.
And always follow basic guidelines promoted by the CDC for using repellents safely:
- Read product label and follow directions.
- Apply only the amount recommended.
- Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing
- Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
- Do not apply to eyes or mouth; and apply sparingly around ears.
- Do not allow children to handle or spray the product.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water
Finally, if repellent just isn’t your thing, wear long-sleeved, loose, light-colored shirts and pants.