Monday, August 5, 2013

Protect Yourself During this Bug Season

August is slated as the worst month for bug season this year. Not only are insects annoying, they can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease.  A report released last month by the Environmental Working Group, finds that no one bug repellent works against every insect, but your best bets are those products made with active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus and DEET.

Despite DEET's reputation as a harmful substance, the EWG researchers found it to be one of the most effective chemicals against the risks of West Nile virus and Lyme disease.  The West Nile virus, which is carried by mosquitoes, infected more than 5,600 Americans last year, and 286 people died from the virus, according to the CDC, showing the importance of protecting yourself and staying safe.

In addition to applying insect repellent, other tips to stay safe this month include:
  • Avoid outdoor activities around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors.
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water around their homes and properly maintain ornamental ponds, pools and spas.

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