3. Chemical Mosquito Repellents
The most effective chemical mosquito repellents contain DEET. This chemical is effective in warding off mosquitoes and preventing the transmission of diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika virus, and malaria. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that insect repellents containing this chemical are safe when used according to the directions. In addition to mosquito-borne diseases, DEET prevents diseases carried by ticks such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
2. “Natural” Mosquito Repellents
Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) comes from lemon eucalyptus trees and is a more natural agent for deterring mosquitoes. While the names are similar, it is not the same as lemon eucalyptus essential oil. OLE can be found in products such as Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent. Another form of insect repellent is picaridin. This is not a natural compound. However, it was designed to mimic the effects of piperine found in black pepper and appears to interfere with an insect’s ability to smell the victim.
1. Treating Mosquito Bites
Sometimes a determined mosquito will inevitably find a way to sink her proboscis into your skin. When that happens, there are a variety of ways to treat the ensuing redness, itchiness, and discomfort. It is crucial to avoid scratching the itchy bumps, since scratching them can break the skin and introduce infection. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends treating itchy bug bites with ice. Over-the-counter products that contain calamine or hydrocortisone can help with itching. Additionally, antihistamines like Benadryl can relieve itching while decreasing the inflammation caused by an immune system reaction to the bite.Related: Beware of the Kissing Bug