Mosquitoes are a serious problem in the Raleigh area during the spring and summer months. It is important to protect yourself from their bites, and the best way to do this is to use an effective form of mosquito repellent. There are a number of different products on the market, but the key is to look for an active ingredient that is good at repelling mosquitoes.
The CDC recommends products that use DEET as the active ingredient. It is effective at repelling both mosquitoes and ticks. Products with DEET will have different levels of concentration in the product. If you are applying the product to children, you will want to choose one that is less than 30% DEET, but more than 10% DEET. If you are going into the woods in a heavily infested mosquito or tick area there are options that you can choose that are higher. OFF! is one product that is well-known that has DEET.
Picardin is a relatively new product that has been proven at effectively repelling mosquitoes. Products may contain about 20%. It is FDA approved, and it has been shown to be effective for up to 8 hours after the initial application. This does not work as well on ticks, and so it should not be worn when going into an area with ticks and mosquitoes. This can be a lotion or a spray. One well-known product is the SSS Picardin spray sold by Avon.
Essential Oil Extracts
Some people swear by using a combination of essential oils to ward off mosquitoes. There are a number of different options including lemongrass, peppermint and cedarwood. Essential oils do not have the same testing done about their effectiveness and may not last as long.
Protecting Yourself from Mosquitoes
In addition to using an effective mosquito repellent, you can dress in light colored clothing and long sleeves and pants to reduce the chances of being bitten. You may want to have a barrier spray applied to your yard, so that you do not need to worry about mosquitoes when spending time outside at home. Mosquitoes are the most active at dawn and dusk and staying in during those times can also reduce the chances of being bitten.