Our professional pest control services can keep bugs out of your home and yard, but keeping them off of your body is a whole other ballgame. This summer with growing concerns over the Zika virus it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re properly protected.
Below you’ll find a bug spray breakdown. It’s all the essential information you need to know before picking a product and slathering it on your skin.
Bug Spray Active Ingredients
The most important ingredient in a bug spray is the one that actually keeps insects off your skin. The most common active ingredients approved by the EPA include:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
There are some products on the market today that combine sunscreen and bug spray. However, experts say using two separate products is typically the better option because sunscreen needs to be reapplied more often.
It should also be noted that these ingredients don’t kill insects. They are designed to repel them so they don’t get close enough to bite.
What You Need to Know About DEET
DEET is the primary active ingredient in most bug sprays because it protects against mosquitoes, flies, fleas and ticks. It also lasts longer than other active ingredients and has been shown to be the most effective against mosquitoes.
Some people are concerned about using products that contain DEET after hearing horror stories of unpleasant side effects, like skin rashes and nausea. When used correctly DEET poses very little risk to humans, even children. DEET levels vary, but 20% is enough to provide protection.
However, pet owners need to be aware that DEET can be harmful to animals. It’s considered toxic for both cats and dogs. If they’re exposed to DEET it can cause airway inflammation, eye problems, neurological problems and more. The higher the concentration of DEET is the bigger the risk a repellent poses for pets.
How to Properly Apply Bug Spray
Bug spray is only effective if it’s properly applied. It can seem pretty straightforward, which is why many people skip the first essential step – reading the directions. Other application tips that can improve effectiveness include:
- Reapply after swimming or sweating.
- Reapply only as often as recommended by the maker.
- Apply sunscreen before bug spray.
- Cover every exposed part of the skin.
- Do not put bug repellent on skin beneath clothing.
- Do not put bug spray on irritated skin or open wounds.
- Spray the repellent into your hand then apply to the face.
- Once you get home shower to remove the bug spray.
Consumer Reports recently analyzed bug repellents to determine which ones were most effective against mosquitoes. It’s a great cheat sheet for anyone that wants to reduce the chance of contracting the Zika virus.
Homeowners and business owners in Central Alabama can get help controlling insects from Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. We customize pest control treatments to your exact needs and also offerspecialized mosquito control and termite control.