What’s the best way to prevent bug bites this summer?


   By Jessica Davis
   Provo North University Office

As I work alongside with Dr. Liu many parents are asking how to stay bug free this summer.

Here are some tips that will make this summer more enjoyable:

1. When gathering in areas where there are mosquitoes, biting flies, or ticks, it is best to use insect repellent with DEET. Other products may not be as effective; such as essential oils, wristbands soaked in chemical repellants, garlic, or backyard bug zappers that may attract bugs to your yard.

2. How long bug repellent will last varies on the strength and how long you are outside. For example if you are outside for less than 2 hours and used 10% DEET it would be effective. But if you were outside for more than 5 hours the recommendation is to use 30% DEET.

3. When going outdoors in places with lots of insects have your child wear long sleeves, pants, closed shoes, and socks.

4. Don’t apply bug repellant on babies younger than 2 months old. Instead place mosquito netting over their baby carrier or stroller.

5. Do not spray repellents on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.

6. When applying bug repellent to a child’s face do not spray directly on the face, but spray it on your hands, then rub and apply.

7. The most effective repellent for ticks is permethrin, but it should only be applied on clothing (avoid skin).

It is important to use bug repellent to prevent your children from getting West Nile Virus from mosquitoes or Lyme disease from ticks. After a long day of fun make sure to wash off any insect repellant and wash any clothes. Also check your child for any ticks or bug bites.

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