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2012 Guide to Safest Bug/Mosquito Repellents

Updated on November 9, 2012
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Coco Modugno
Coco Modugno
Coco Modugno

List of some of the safest bug repellents for your family

We've all had them; insect bites. Some are worse than others and right now the Mosquito seems to be causing quite a stir out there bringing back the West Nile Virus, and Texas seems to be taking most of the impact.

To understand what the best repellent is, you should become familiar with the insect, in this case, we'll focus on the Mosquito, which has now claimed its title as the most dangerous.

How do Mosquitoes work?

Mosquitoes have 3 sensors to identify their prey:

  1. Chemical Sensors: They can sense Lactic and Carbon Dioxide from about 100 feet away. These are gases we all give off when we breathe, so unless you're not breathing, you're a target.
  2. Visual Sensors: The brighter your clothes and the more you move around, the more you will attract them. Mosquitoes are like The Predator, remember him? He saw everything through a night vision lens in his eyes, spotting blood (warm blooded creatures) and movement. Unless you are camouflaged to blend in with your background, you are nothing more than a flashing bright dinner plate.
  3. Heat Sensors: They detect heat coming from any warm blooded animal.

Factoid: Only the females bite.

It took the Mosquito 30 million years to perfect this way of hunting, so you will need some pretty heavy ammo to get rid of this bug. And now that he's bringing the West Nile Virus, you should become acquainted with its symptoms and what it is.

What is the West Nile Virus and its symptoms?

The scariest part is that most people do not show symptoms and about 20% get these:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen Lymph Glands
  • Eye pain

About 1% will develop more serious symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Disorientation/Confusion
  • Tremors/Muscle twitching
  • Lack of coordination
  • Convulsions
  • Partial paralysis
  • Coma

Now that you know what to look for, here's your ammo of some of the best bug repellents there are out there and the safest to use on your children, babies, elderly.

TIPS: Keep in mind to make your surroundings safe. Mosquitoes love water, so if you have a pool, take special notice to that, keep doors closed into the home when coming in at dusk, when they are most rampant, and get rid of any bowls with water laying outside by your plants. Also keep an eye out for your pets.

Let's start with baby. Here is a great site I think you should check out packed with a lot of many sprays and lotions for baby and young children, many containing sunscreens, which is always a benefit.

Safe Mama:

http://safemama.com/cheatsheets/bug-repellent/

Factoid: Most commercial repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Although the EPA has said these are safe when used according to the label, there have been fatalities, some of which have accidentally put some on their face. We forget if we washed our hands or not, sometimes even putting our fingers in our mouths. That's not good for children. DEET is safe if you know how to read a label and follow instructions. I would say keep the DEET off children, but that is my personal opinion.

Here are some links and sites for the best bug repellents out there now:

Consumer Search:

www.consumersearch.com/insect-repellent

Web MD:

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20100525/6-insect-repellents-get-high-marks

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/top-rated/sporting-goods/719933011

Daily Green (All natural products):

http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/natural-insect-repellents-460608

For your Dogs and Cats from PETCO:

http://www.petco.com/product/111180/Only-Natural-Pet-Herbal-Defense-Insect-Repellent-Spray-for-Pets.aspx

TIP: Remember if you just sprayed yourself, and your dog likes to lick your legs, he/she may have ingested the repellent. Keep a close eye on their behavior for the above symptoms.In case of DEET poisoning, look out for these symptoms on your pet and call your VET as soon as possible.

  • Drooling
  • Wobbly gait
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

EPA:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/

Nothing is better than educating yourself on what goes on your skin and your child's skin. Please read the labels before purchasing any product here and make sure you or your child doesn't have an allergy, watch for reactions and symptoms, if they develop.







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