Friday, June 22, 2012

How to Survive a Record Year of Nasty Mosquitos

You'll want to keep the mosquito repellent and medication for bug
bites close by this summer. The Centers for Disease Control is
predicting the summer of 2012 will be one of the worst mosquito
summers on record.

You can blame an unusually warm winter, a wetter than normal spring,
and a summer that so far is warm and damp. Because the insects did
not freeze to death last winter, the bugs got an early start on
breeding and have kept multiplying. Considering the amount of water
in a bottle cap can hold about 300 mosquito eggs, you can imagine what
North Carolinians are facing.

So Kerr Drug, a nationally recognized provider of pharmacy and other
healthcare related, offers these tips to safely ward off the summer

• Apply Insect Repellents with DEET wisely- Most people choose
repellents with low concentrations of DEET, especially for use by
their children, believing high percentages of DEET are dangerous.
However toxicity issues with DEET are related to the number of times
you apply the product, not the concentration. So it is safer to
choose the product that matches the amount of time you'll be outside.
The CDC cites a study showing repellents with 23.8% DEET provide about
five hours of protection while products with 4.75% DEET protect for
about one hour.
"It's better to use a product with a higher DEET concentration once
than with a lower concentration multiple times," says Anthony "Tony"
Civello, president and CEO of Kerr Drug.

• Be Careful Using Repellents with DEET on Children-The American
Academy of Pediatrics recommends products containing DEET should not
be applied to children under two months of age. The AAP also suggests
not using products with a higher DEET concentration than 30% on
• Other Repellents-Picardin- is a pepper-based compound that is as
effective as DEET with lower toxicity.
• Other Repellents-Lemon Eucalyptus- is also used as an insect
repellent and seems as effective as a low concentration of DEET.
• General Safety Advice for all Repellents-When applying repellent on
a small child, apply it to your own hands and run them on the child.
Also, do not apply repellent to children's hands because children tend
to put their hands in their mouth and eyes.
• Hydrocortisone Cream- This topical cream relieves stings, bites and
itchy rashes.
"While mosquitos will bite anytime during daylight hours, they are
most aggressive at dawn and dusk, so people should take special
precautions during those times," adds Civello. "It's also advisable to
look around where you live and remove standing water, clean birdbaths,
and get rid of the places where mosquitos breed."