Your Ultimate Guide to Bug Spray

bug spray

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. Below you’ll find a bug spray breakdown. It’s all the essential information you need to know before picking a product and slathering or spraying it on your skin. If you’re like most Americans, and instantly reach for a green bottle that says DEET on the side, read this first. 

Bug Spray Active Ingredients

The most important ingredient in a bug spray is the one that actually keeps insects off of your skin. The most common active ingredients you’ll find in bug sprays include: 

  • IR3535
  • Picaridin
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • DEET

It’s important to note that these ingredients aren’t meant to kill insects, only repel them. 

What is DEET?

In today’s culture, DEET is a buzzword for a chemical, which equates it to a bad or unsafe product—leading people to avoid DEET bug sprays like the plague. In general, 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. 

So, is it Safe?

Typically, DEET poses very little risk to people, even children. Still, you’ll hear a multitude of horror stories about unpleasant side effects like skin rashes and nausea. DEET levels vary, but 20% is enough to provide adequate protection against pests.

Even though DEET is considered safe to humans, pet owners need to be aware that DEET can be harmful for your dog or cat. If your pets are exposed to DEET, it can cause airway inflammation, eye problems, neurological problems, and more. The higher the concentration of DEET, the more risk it poses for your pets.

The Right Way to Apply Bug Spray

Applying bug spray is basically foolproof. I mean, you just spray it onto your skin, right? If applied incorrectly, your bug spray won’t work as well to repel insects. Most people skip the most essential step of bug spray application—reading the instructions. Make sure you do! Other application tips that can improve the effectiveness of bug spray include: 

  • Reapply after swimming or sweating.
  • Apply sunscreen before bug spray.
  • Cover every exposed area of the skin.
  • Do not put bug spray on skin beneath clothing.
  • Do not put bug spray on irritated skin or open wounds.
  • Spray the repellent into your hand and then apply onto your face.
  • Once you get home, shower to effectively remove the bug spray.

At Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, we’re experts on pest control treatments and solutions. We customize our pest control treatments to fit your exact needs, so that you can keep bugs off of your lawn, and out of your home. Contact us for more information.