5 Ways to Avoid Insect Bites
The weather is warming up and that means spending more time outdoors. Enjoying the sun may come with a price: insect bites and stings. Avoid annoying them with the following tips:
Use insect repellent: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Insect repellents offer the best protection against bug bites and the diseases they can spread.
Cover exposed skin: When outdoors, make sure to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. In tick-infested areas, tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks so ticks can’t crawl under your clothes. Also, make sure to choose light-colored clothing so you can more easily see insects that land or crawl on you.
Remove standing water: Insects like mosquitoes breed in standing water. In your backyard, make sure to empty and turn over toys, equipment, or containers that collect rainwater. Keep the gutters on your house clean and free of debris that can trap water. Regularly empty rain barrels or keep them tightly covered so mosquitoes can't access them.
Mow tall grass and remove brush piles: Insects like ticks are most often found in tall grasses and shrubs. To reduce tick populations in your yard, keep your grass mowed short and clean up leaf and brush piles.
Use fragrance-free skin and laundry products: Many perfumes and artificial scents can attract insects. To prevent bites and stings – especially from bees and wasps – opt for fragrance-free products.