It’s annoying enough to have that itchy, swelling mosquito bite, or the tick that has been your silent traveling buddy for awhile, but West Nile, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease and other insect-transmitted infections can cause severe illness… even death in rare cases.
The good news is, seldom to humans contract tick-borne infections if the tick is attached for less than 24 hours. Fortunately, it is common for us to detect the little pests naturally before we even get close to the 24 hour threshold. Even so, a careful tick check is critical, even with the use of insect repellants. However, repellants are a good first defense before heading outdoors.
Effective Insect Repellants and Insecticides
Use DEET on your skin, and spray your clothes, boots and tent with permethrin, a safe insecticide. This combination provides maximum insect defense. Permethrin binds to fibers, and will remain on clothing (even after washing) for a couple weeks. It is safe for all ages and higher concentrations will give longer effect. Just use lower concentration more often with the kids, and avoid applying near the eyes, nose and mouth. DEET can harm synthetic fabrics, so try picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus instead. However, both of these alternatives are more reliable against mosquitos than ticks. Oh, and don’t forget to apply sun screen first, then repellant.
Don’t be bugged this summer, just DEET-er them!