A Greene Westford column reposted. This was originally posted in July 2011.
DEET vs. Disease: You may not need to choose.
- Mosquitoes do not like the smell of DEET. Put it on clothes, not skin, to limit your exposure but still prevent mosquitoes.
- Look for a pump instead of a spray to lessen the chance you will inhale the product.
- Higher concentrations of DEET will allow the product to work for longer periods of time. You can use a lower concentration and reapply more frequently, if needed.
- Read the directions and follow them! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that as long as you use products with DEET appropriately, the there is no harm.
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil has been shown to be as effective against mosquitoes and ticks as DEET with the added benefit of being a natural product. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Consumer Reports recommend lemon eucalyptus. A July 2010 Consumer Reports study rated Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus just as high as others with DEET. Lemon Eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years of age. You may need to reapply more frequently.
- The Whole Body Spa in Westford offers Keep Away Bug Spray which contains mix of essential oils. I have been using this with much success.