One of the best ways to fight off mosquito and tick bites and subsequent disease transmission is to apply insect repellent before going outside. Yet, many people don’t make it a priority to protect against these biting pests by taking this simple action. And those who do may not realize that there is a correct way to use repellent in order for it to be effective.
To properly apply insect repellent for maximum protection against mosquitoes and ticks, follow this five-step method from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA):
- Look for a product containing an active EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535.
- Read the product label and follow the instructions carefully. If sunscreen is also being worn, repellent should be used over top of sunscreen.
- Shake the product well. Then, hold it about 6-8 inches away from exposed skin and spray evenly in a sweeping motion.
- Spray the palms of hands to apply the repellent to the face and ears, being sure to avoid eye and nostril contact.
- Apply the repellent over clothing, which should completely cover feet and ankles.
Another great way to avoid contact with mosquitoes specifically is to remove any standing water around the yard to deter mosquito breeding. A licensed pest control professional can work with a homeowner to help identify these hot spots.”