Apply repellent whenever you are going to be outdoors. During the warmer months of the year. Be aware that mosquitoes often can be most active at dusk and at dawn. Always remember to read and follow the label directions on the package.
Most personal repellents include products that contain varying amounts of DEET. However, if you are looking for an active ingredient other than DEET, consider repellents that use Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus as its active ingredient.
Most personal repellents are made for human use only, but there are animal-friendly repellents.
The chemical DEET is the most widely used insect repellent in the country. It can reduce the risk of mosquito and tick bites, but products containing DEET must be used properly.
Read and follow the instructions on the label. Avoid over-application. Products with 10% to 35% DEET will provide adequate mosquito protection under most conditions – concentrations should be based on the duration of protection needed (e.g., for 1-2 hours use <10%, data-preserve-html-node="true" for 2-5 hours use 20%); For protection against tick bites, at least 20% is necessary.
Use caution when using repellents containing DEET on children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, repellents with up to 30% DEET can be used on children over 2 months of age. Dress children in long sleeves and pants and, when possible, apply repellent to clothing rather than skin. Read and follow the instructions on the label.
DEET has been used for more than 40 years by millions of people worldwide. Products containing DEET have been occasionally associated with some health problems such as skin reactions, including rash, swelling, itching, and eye irritation. In very rare circumstances, slurred speech, confusion, and seizures have been associated with the use of DEET, particularly in children. The risk of experiencing any adverse health effects is reduced when products containing DEET are used according to label instructions.
Registered products that provide repellent activity sufficient to help people avoid the bites of disease carrying mosquitoes include Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and IR3535.