Insect repellents have become an integral part of our lives ever since the incidences of diseases like malaria have increased. The myths related to insect repellents have long been busted and their usage has become popular.
Despite insect repellents being safe, there are certain things about how they work and what the dos and don’ts related to repellents are that one must keep in mind before applying the product.
How Does Insect Repellent Works?
Humans attract mosquitoes and insects by their breathing and skin odours. Thus, the function of an insect repellent is to cover these two inviting activities and make humans unattractive for mosquitoes or insects bites.
How To Choose Insect Repellent?
Studies and research have shown that while choosing an insect repellent there are some ingredients you must make sure are present in your purchase if you want a long-lasting effect. These ingredients are-
- DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)
- Picaridin (KBR 3023)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Tips On How To Apply Insect Repellent Correctly
The following tips will be helpful for when you’re applying an insect repellent-
1. Always Apply Sunscreen First
If you’re going to be out in the sun, first apply sunscreen on your body and let it seep into your skin. The insect repellent should always follow suit. If you need to reapply sunscreen after a while, you will not have to reapply the insect repellent unless the mosquitoes and insects are really bothering you.
2. Cover All The Exposed Areas Of Your Body With The Repellent But Don’t Apply Too Much
It is advised that the insect repellent sprays be applied from a distance of 6-8 inches and the lotions be used as a thin film over the exposed skin. Applying generous amounts of insect repellent is not advised.
3. Don’t Spray Under Clothes
The repellent should always be sprayed over your clothes and not under them as that might increase the risks of getting bitten.
4. Use Your Hands To Apply To Sensitive Areas
Never should you spray insect repellent directly on your face. Always spray the repellent on your hands and then apply on your face, ears and neck. Avoid eyes and nostrils at all costs.
5. Make Sure To Apply On Ankles And Knees
Ticks and insects usually hop onto your body from the plants or the ground. Therefore, always apply insect repellent on your ankles, knees and feet.
6. Take Extra Care With Children
Children younger than 2 months should be kept away from insect repellents. As for children older than 2 months, the repellent should always be applied by an elder with his/her hands and the hands of the kids should be avoided along with eyes and nostrils as they tend to stick their hands in their eyes.
7. Know When To Reapply
You will know it’s time to reapply your insect repellent when the mosquitoes start to bite again. Also, if you’ve had contact with water, chances are that your insect repellent may have been washed away so, you’ll need to reapply.
Safety Precautions while Using Insect Repellent
There are certain Dos and Don’ts associated with how insect repellents should and should not be used-
- Always read the label for instructions and precautions carefully.
- Apply repellents only on your clothing and not under it.
- Use just enough repellents as to form a thin film.
- Always spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.
- Children under 2 months of age should be kept away for insect repellents.
- Never spray repellent directly onto your face and ears. Always apply on hands first and then rub it on your face and neck avoiding eyes and nostrils completely.
- Do not spray insect repellent on cuts and wounds.
- Possible Side Effect of Insect Repellent
- Skin allergies and reactions (mostly in the case of sensitive skin).
- If the repellent gets into the eyes, then it’ll cause irritation. In which case, you should wash your eyes immediately.
Can I Use Insect Repellent Containing DEET?
Insect repellents with no more than 10% to 30% DEET are proven safe, even for kids.
How To Apply DEET Insect Repellent?
DEET insect repellent should be applied first and should be followed with sunblock.
Which Insect Repellents Contain DEET?
DEET is contained by the following insect repellents-
- Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent
- Repel 100
- Sawyer Premium Ultra 30
- Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent
How To Use Insect Repellent Stick?
Always light the stick with the windows open to avoid breathing it in.
How To Make Insect Repellent With Neem Oil?
Blend Neem Oil and Coconut Oil in equal parts to make insect repellent at home.
How To Make Insect Repellent With Essential Oils?
To make homemade bug repellent you’ll need a carrier oil and an essential oil.
For e.g. Mix together 15 drops Lavender Oil and 5 drops Eucalyptus.
Insect repellents are proven to be safe and useful to avoid diseases spread by carriers like mosquitoes, insects and bugs. They can prevent diseases like malaria and other allergies caused by mosquitoes. It is important to read the instructions and precautions before using the insect repellent and also to have knowledge of the areas on your body that should be avoided (eyes, nostrils, etc.).
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