Is It Safe to Use Bug Spray While Pregnant?

bug spray

As a newly pregnant mother, you want the absolute best for your soon-to-be-here bundle of joy. This means taking only the best prenatal vitamins, eating the best diet, and using the best skincare––no exceptions.

When it comes to bug spray, there can be a lot of misinformation, skewed data, and bias about which bug sprays are safe to use while pregnant, and which aren’t. Many pregnant women are understandably concerned about using products on their skin that may cause adverse reactions or contain chemicals. Bug spray falls squarely into both of these categories. 

There are a variety of ways that pregnant women can protect themselves from mosquitoes, but there are also a lot of confusing misconceptions. Keep reading for a list of bug repellant do’s and don’ts to practice this summer.

Do Follow the Instructions

The CDC has noted that repellents are safe when they are used as recommended. That means the safety rating goes out the window with the mosquitoes if the instructions aren’t followed exactly. 

Do Apply Just Enough

People often go overboard with bug repellent. We understand that the goal is to completely repel bugs from your skin, but you don’t have to douse yourself to be fully protected. For best results, apply bug spray on every area of exposed skin, holding the can or bottle at least 4 to 8 inches away from your body. You should re-apply bug spray every two to four hours. 

Do Take a Shower as Soon as You Get Home

It’s a good idea to take a shower or bath when you get home to wash off the residual bug repellent. Use mild soap and warm water to gently remove the product. 

Do Look for DEET Alternatives

There is a chance that DEET could cause adverse reactions, and because of this, pregnant women are advised to look into bug repellent alternatives if they’re going to be outside a lot. Picaridin is another long-lasting bug repellent that is EPA-approved, as well as citronella and oil of lemon and eucalyptus. Keep in mind that safer alternatives usually do not have the same staying power as stronger DEET sprays.

Don’t Use DEET Products Too Often

DEET is the number one active ingredient in the majority of bug repellents. It’s registered by the EPA as a chemical that can repel insects, and it’s FDA-approved as a safe method for keeping bugs away. Although there have been very few cases of toxic reactions associated with DEET, it’s still recommended that pregnant women limit the use of products they use that contain DEET. If you’ll only be outside for a few hours, you can use a product with low concentrations of DEET. For reference, a concentration of just 6.65% will provide about two hours of protection.

Don’t Apply Bug Spray to Skin Under Clothing

Bug spray is meant to be sprayed on exposed skin. However, if you’re wearing a loose-fitting top, you can spray it around the edges just in case.

Don’t Apply Insect Repellent to Cuts, Wounds, or Rashes

Experts agree that no one should put bug spray on open cuts, wounds, or damaged or irritated skin. It’s best to cover these areas with bandages to keep bacteria out. 

Don’t Apply Bug Spray Directly to Your Face

Bug spray is considered safe by the FDA, but only if used properly! If you apply insect repellent directly to your face, there’s a good chance it’ll get into your eyes and mouth, or it’ll be inhaled. Instead, spray it into your hands and then apply it to your face. 

Got a Mosquito Problem? We Can Help

Insect repellent is a great way to keep mosquitoes off your skin to prevent swollen itchy mosquito bites. Besides using insect repellent, we also recommend that you take proactive steps to minimize the mosquito population around your property. Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. offers custom mosquito treatments that address the issues that cause mosquito populations to increase. 

Give us a call today, and avoid mosquito bites tomorrow.