The hot weather’s hatching lots of bugs, including mosquitoes. It’s time now to start using repellents to keep yourself and the kids from being bitten, the only way to fend off West Nile Virus carried by some of the biting bugs.
Experts say the most effective repellents contain an ingredient called DEET. Beverly Powers is a registered public-health nurse says mosquitoes are attracted to us by the carbon dioxide we breathe out, and she says DEET confuses the mosquitoes.
Powers says a study found DEET’s one of the best repellents because it lasts up to ten times longer than other chemicals. She cites a test in which volunteers tried a DEET solution and it lasted 301 minutes — compared to a non-DEET-based soybean repellent that lasted for 22-point-9 minutes, the longest any other product lasted) Some manufacturers offer DEET-free repellents, saying that DEET can be harmful to certain people.
Because a small percentage can have a sensitivity to it, doctors recommend using a commercial product that contains no more than 30-percent of the active ingredient and just ten-percent if it’s used on kids under three.
Seniors also may have a reaction to the chemical. The reaction basically will be a rash, and if that appears. she says you should wash off the repellent right away. If it’s itchy or uncomfortable, the user should go see a doctor. Powers says children are the least likely to be bitten by mosquitoes, while people over 50 are most likely to be bitten.
With dozens of types of mosquitoes in Iowa, people are also urged to get rid of any standing water and make sure their screens and windows are properly sealed. Whenever possible, Powers encouraged people to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially between dusk and dawn when mosquito populations are at their peak.