The warm and rainy summer weather creates the perfect conditions for mosquito reproduction. Rainwater accumulating in puddles, outdoor equipment, toys, ornamental ponds, birdbaths and any item that can hold water provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes can be the vector for the transmission of a number of serious diseases, such as West Nile Virus, malaria, dengue fever and Zika virus. The use of insect repellents can help protect you and your family from these pathogens. Consumers have a wide range of products from which to choose to protect themselves and their families against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses.
A number of commercial products are available that do an effective job of repelling insects and preventing bites. The repellent power of these products generally relies on one of three different compounds:
Individuals who are concerned about chemical sensitivities may prefer to use natural products that have some insect repelling qualities, such as oils of clove, citronella, rosemary or lemongrass. However, in laboratory tests, these compounds are not as effective against insects and will not provide the protection against bites that transmit disease.
Consumers should always keep in mind that insect repellents contain powerful chemicals that can be hazardous or can cause allergic reactions. In addition, a number of conditions can impact the effectiveness of repellents, such as activity level, amount of sweating, water exposure and whether mosquitoes are attracted to your body chemistry. Follow these tips to minimize the risk of reactions from the use of repellents:
Insect repellent products can be an important way to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. If you keep these tips in mind, you can achieve the greatest effectiveness and safety from their use.
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