If you’re planning on spending time at the beach this summer, it is important for you to protect yourself from mosquitoes which can transmit deadly viruses such as Zika and West Nile virus. In fact, each year, there are many cases of these two illnesses reported around the world. So, what do you need to know about protecting against mosquitos? Note that insect repellent picaridin is an example of an insect repellent that can protect you from bug bites. 

What are insect repellents?

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The insect repellent is a chemical which repels the insects. The chemicals are usually sprayed on our clothes, skin or other places where we come in contact with them to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects. Insects like ticks, ants and cockroaches can also be deterred using similar methods. There are many benefits of this method but it should not be used as an alternative for mosquito nets. It is important to understand that these pesticides do have some side effects too. This article will tell you about those benefits and drawbacks of using insect repellents.

Insect repellents prevent mosquito and other bug bites

Mosquitoes carry diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, filariasis, and more. These diseases cause huge health problems especially among children and pregnant women. If they bite you during pregnancy then there may be severe consequences for both the mother and child. In order to prevent mosquito bites one needs to use an effective insecticide spray. Using insect repellents helps in preventing diseases caused due to mosquitoes. They help protect against chikungunya virus infection if applied properly.

Insect repellents can also prevent other bug bites. Insects like fleas, bed bugs, lice, moths, spiders and wasps are known to attack human beings causing irritation and itching. These pests are very harmful because they feed on blood. Flea infestation, for instance, causes allergies while spider bites lead to rashes. One has to take care when using insect repellants so that he or she does not get affected by any such pest.

What are the health benefits of insect repellents?

Some insect repellents contain natural ingredients which are safe to humans. Natural products like citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, lemon grass oil, tea tree oil, camphor oil, clove oil, cedar wood oil, and lemongrass oil are widely available. Some people even add essential oils to their bath water and wash themselves after applying insect repellents.

All these treatments work effectively without having any adverse effect on your body. You can apply insect repellents directly to your skin or clothing before going outdoors. An added benefit of using insect repellent is that you don't need to worry about getting stung by bees and butterflies either.

Safety and efficacy of insect repellents

It is necessary to check whether the insect repellents available in stores are really useful or not. Many companies claim that their particular product works well and others say otherwise. However, all insect repellents must meet certain criteria before becoming commercially successful. For instance, no matter how good your insect repellent is, it cannot offer adequate protection if you fail to follow proper application techniques. Also, make sure that your insect repellent contains at least 10 percent DEET.

Do not ignore the cost factor

Using insect repellents comes with its own cost factor. But since the costs vary depending upon the brand name, size and quantity purchased, it becomes easy to find something affordable. Before buying anything, however, always read the label carefully and ensure that it meets safety standards set by law. Be sure to compare the costs of different insect repellent brands and choose one that is available at an affordable price and offers reliable protection from bug bites.

Using insect repellents properly

When purchasing insect repellents, look for labels stating “Do Not Apply on Skin”. This will help you know what specific products can be applied on skin and which shouldn’t.  Do not buy over-the counter repellents unless recommended by a doctor. Always ask yourself what type of environment you want to stay protected from? Are you looking for anti-mosquito sprays, bug killers, ant removers, moth balls or repelling lotions? These questions will help choose the most reliable insects repellents.

Make sure that you choose the right kind according to your requirements. Once you know what exactly you require, make sure to purchase only the best quality ones. Read reviews online to see what others think about the insect repellents. Check if the company offers customer support services. Choose brands offering 24 hour emergency service or customer support service.

Are the alternative ways of dealing mosquito and bug bites?

Apart from using insect repellents, you can try various ways to keep away from pesky creatures. First of all, wear long sleeves and pants whenever possible. Secondly, sleep under mosquito net sheets. Thirdly, cover up exposed areas of your body with light colored shirts and trousers. Lastly, remove stagnant water around your home and garden.