The high-pitched whine of the mosquito in your ear is not what you want to hear when enjoying your vacation. And these days, it’s not just the dreaded itch that comes with a bug bite. Ticks, mosquitoes and certain flies are known to spread some nasty diseases, in addition to the health threat from mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. But U.S. health experts say there are ways to keep pesky insects in their place.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control advises that one of the best ways to prevent bug bites is to use an insect repellent,and they’re not talking about the popular baby lotion with aloe and Vitamin E.
The agency recommends insect repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET. These products (which include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods) offer protection against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs.
It's unclear how effective natural insect repellents are in preventing bug bites, the CDC said.
The agency says other repellents that may only protect against mosquitoes include:
•Picaridin, which is also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin (products include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus).
•Oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol (products include Repel Lemon Eucalyptus).
•IR3535 (products include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart).
The CDC notes that these "insect repellent brand names are provided for your information only. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cannot recommend or endorse any name-brand products."
It's important to use insect repellents properly. Be sure to read all the directions on the product's packaging and use it as directed, the CDC advises.
More about how to make yourself less tasty for mosquitoes can be found here.