How to Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes Without Using DEET

How to Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes Without Using DEET

If you want to avoid the potential hazards, check out these effective alternatives.

It’s that time of the year when many of us are left wondering how best to keep frostbite from our face. We’re also praying for no snow on the driveway and an ice-free windshield. But not all of us.

If you’re living in a warm climate, the holidays were as green as ever. And with that sun comes not only warmth, but sometimes… mosquitoes.

Yes, Zika is a possible threat. But if you’re in southern Florida cases have been found, but the numbers are very small. Just a handful of people have been infected through local mosquitoes.

Related: Scientists to Combat Zika by Deploying Millions of Mosquitoes

Of course, those living in Puerto Rico face other circumstances. If you’re there and facing mosquitoes, consider using the strongest protection you can find. Hundreds of people have been infected with Zika as well as other illnesses through mosquitoes local to the area.

In the continental U.S however, mosquitoes can contain other illnesses but are generally simply a nuisance.

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself and avoid the worries of slathering yourself in DEET:

1) Avoid Peak Biting Hours

Anyone who’s gone camping in the U.S knows that mosquitoes here love the evening. While they can also strike during the day, dusk is the most active time for the varieties present in the country.

If it matches your schedule, try to avoid the buggers altogether by staying indoors around dinner time. This could be your best bet in remaining bite-free.

2) Wear Clothing That Covers

The sun is hot, but covering up can work wonders. It can offer extra sun protection and also keep out the bugs. Long pants, close-toed shoes and long-sleeved shirts are on your side.

3) Use a Bed Net

Using a bed net can protect you against mosquitoes and illnesses they carry.

Don’t trust the walls? Sleeping under a bed net might be considered a little paranoid by some, but it could be the best way to stay protected at night. Tuck your net under your mattress if it doesn’t quite reach the floor, so that nothing flies in. You can also have your net treated with pyrethroid insecticide for optimal effectiveness.

4) Look for These Other Highly Effective Ingredients

When it comes to mosquito protection without DEET, you don’t have to rely on orange peels and scented candles. Look for alternative ingredients that have been proven scientifically to work.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) these include picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (chemical name: para-menthane-3,8-diol), IR3535 (chemical name: 3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester) and undecanone (chemical name: methyl nonyl ketone).

Experts don’t recommend using “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus found in essential oil form as it hasn’t been made to be a repellent, nor has it undergone valid testing to see if it’s effective or safe for use. In essence, it’s not registered with EPA as an insect repellent, and so it’s not advised that you use it as one.

Examples of products that contain the ingredients listed above and are seen to be effective at repelling mosquitoes include: Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, Autan, SkinSmart, BioUD, Repel and Off ! Botanicals.

5) Buy Clothing That’s Pre-Treated to Repel Mosquitoes

Certain outdoor clothing can be bought pre-treated to fight off mosquitoes. They’re treated with something called permethrin, (never put this stuff straight on your skin), and can be effective for up to 25 washings or more.

Nobitech and Insect Shield both sell this stuff, as well as other brands.

Visit your local outdoors store for more information.

Photo credits: Maridav/Shutterstock.com; Mr.Pornsatid/Shutterstock.com

 

 

 

 

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