When the weather warms, we tend to spend more time outside with six-legged creatures that feast on our blood.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests how to prevent bug bites by applying insect repellent:
Use only repellent that contains ingredients registered with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Spray repellent on clothes or skin, but not directly on the face.
Don’t use repellent on babies. On children, only use repellent that contains no more than 10 percent DEET.
You can use oil-of-eucalyptus products on children over age 3.
Don’t use repellent that’s meant for people on your pets.
Always follow the label’s instructions.
Avoid applying repellant to children’s hands, around the eyes, or on a cut or irritated skin.
Store repellent out of children’s reach.
Wash repellent off with soap and water. Contact a Poison Control Center if anyone has a reaction to repellent.
Avoiding pesky mosquitoes
Mosquito bites may be more than just an itchy annoyance — they also can transmit deadly germs that cause diseases such as Zika, West Nile or dengue, the U.S. National Institutes of Health warns.
Mosquito-borne illnesses kill about 725,000 people worldwide each year, the agency says.
Here are the NIH’s suggestions for avoiding mosquito bites:
Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or IR3535 on the skin or thin clothing.
Wear long sleeves, pants and socks.
Install or repair screens to keep insects out. Use air conditioning, if available, and keep windows and doors shut.
Get rid of bug breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet dishes and birdbaths.