Mosquitoes have a well deserved reputation as the most dangerous killers on the planet because of the diseases they spread with their bites.
With their numbers on the increase because of global warming and pesticide resistance to name just a few, it’s now more important than ever to appreciate that mosquito control can and does start in your own back yard.
Modern mosquito control favors utilizing a wide range of control methods in what has come to be known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM involves surveillance, source reduction, biological controls, larviciding, barrier sprays, public education, and when necessary, adulticiding (pesticides).
Dr Janet McAllister (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) emphasized the need for public awareness in identifying and eliminating anything that could be adding to a mosquito problem. Her web seminar “What is an Integrated Mosquito Management Program” refers to the importance of using products available on the domestic market such as mosquito repellents and mosquito traps.
Protection from Mosquitoes
Protective measures which include the use of products like deet or picaridin to repel mosquitoes, and wearing long sleeves and long pants during hours when mosquitoes are active can cut down on the number of bites and reduce the potential for disease transmission.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends four active ingredients for use in insect repellents; DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) and IR3535.
- DEET is still considered one of the most effective mosquito repellents around and one of the oldest. It was first developed for use by the U.S. Army in 1946, and became available to the public in 1957. Many other products have hit the market since then, but few compare to DEET. However, it should not be used too heavily or on infants under 2 months.
- CUTTER ADVANCED (Picaridin) is odorless, colorless and has proven to be as effective as Deet. Although fairly new to the U.S. this repellent has been used worldwide since 1998 and received CDC endorsement in 2005.
- OLE Oil of lemon eucalyptus (marketed as REPEL) offers protection similar to low concentrations of DEET. Derived from the Eucalyptus Citriodora tree it is the only CDC recommended plant-based repellent. OLE is the preferred option for those who want a natural product.
- IR353 This repellent (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid) is available exclusively through the Avon Corporation as Skin-So-Soft™ Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Active Insect Repellent (7.5%) or Skin-So-Soft™ Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Expedition Insect Repellent (15-20%).