Bug repellent 101: What you need to know for summer - New York News

Bug repellent 101: What you need to know for summer

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Summer in Georgia means mosquitoes—and lots of them.  Even if you're just stepping outdoors for a few minutes, you need to protect yourself.  But how do you pick the right bug repellent?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends checking the label on your sunscreen for three active ingredients: the chemical deet, picardin, and a plant-based repellent you may not know about called oil of lemon eucalyptus.  In two research studies, the CDC says oil of lemon eucalyptus fended off mosquitoes just as well as a lower-concentration deet repellent.  

If you want a new repellent, stores like Sevananda Natural Foods Coop carry repellents with ingredients like citronella, lemongrass, peppermint and cedarwood.  But the CDC cautions that they may not offer the same level of protection as deet-based products.

How you apply repellent matters, too.  Here are some tips:

  • Apply it only to exposed skin
  • Never use it on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin
  • Don't spray it in your face
  • Wash with soap and water when you come inside.


The American Academy of Pediatrics says deet and picardin can be used on children 2 months old and older.  Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3.
  

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