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    Exclamation What else can reduce the risk of mosquito bites? It's what AndyNap said!

    What's The Best Way To Keep Mosquitoes From Biting?


    January 30, 20165:48 AM ET

    SUSAN BRINK






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    Don't get bitten by mosquitoes.
    That's the advice offered to the public in virtually every article on the rapidly-spreading, mosquito-borne Zika virus.
    There's no arguing with the advice. Zika, once considered a relatively mild flu-like illness, has now been linked to a surge in severe birth defects in Brazil and possibly to cases of paralysis.
    But anyone who is a mosquito-magnet must be asking: Can humans really keep the blood-sucking bugs at bay?
    To find out how people can best protect themselves. NPR talked with researchers, many of who spend lots of time in mosquito-infested jungles, marshes and tropical areas.

    Which repellents work best to stop mosquitoes from biting?

    "DEET" is the immediate one-word answer from Dr. William Reisen, professor emeritus at the School of Veterinary Medicine at U.C. Davis and editor of the Journal of Medical Entomology.
    "DEET is the standard," agrees Dr. Mustapha Debboun, director of the mosquito control division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in Houston. "All the repellents being tested are tested to see if they beat DEET."
    DEET is shorthand for the chemical name N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It's the active ingredient in many insect repellents, which don't kill mosquitoes but keep them away.

    Dr. Dan Strickman agrees that DEET is tried and true. Strickman is with the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which is a funder of NPR) and author of Prevention of Bug Bites, Stings, and Disease.
    DEET appeared on store shelves in 1957. There was some early concern about its safety — speculation that it was linked to neurological problems. But recent reviews, for example a study published in June 2014 in the journal Parasites and Vectors, says, "Animal testing, observational studies and intervention trials have found no evidence of severe adverse events associated with recommended DEET use."
    Other repellents work to prevent mosquitoes from biting as well.
    But DEET isn't the only weapon. Products containing the active ingredients picaridin and IR 3535 are as effective, says Strickman. And repellents with any of those active ingredients are recommended as safe and effective by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are widely available around the world.

    Actually, Strickman gives the edge to picardin.

    "Picaridin is a little more effective than DEET and seems to keep mosquitoes at a greater distance," he says. When people use DEET, mosquitoes may land on them but not bite. When they use a product containing picaridin, mosquitoes are less likely to even land. Repellents with IR 3535 are slightly less effective, Strickman says, but they don't have the strong smell of other products.
    Then there is a non-chemical agent, also recommended by the CDC, called PMD. It's the ingredient in lemon eucalyptus oil that makes it repellent to insects. When researchers from New Mexico State University tested a variety of commercial products for their ability to repel mosquitoes, they found that a product containing lemon eucalyptus oil was about as effective and as long lasting as products containing DEET. "For some people, there's a stigma to using chemicals on their skin. They prefer a more natural product," says Stacey Rodriguez, an author of the study published on October 5, 2015 in the Journal of Insect Science.

    Not all products deliver what they promise. "We tested a Vitamin B1 skin patch," says Dr. Immo Hansen, professor at the Institute of Applied Biosciences at New Mexico State University and also an author of the study comparing repellents. "We didn't find any evidence that it has any effect on mosquitoes."

    One surprising finding was that a perfume, Victoria's Secret Bombshell, was a pretty good repellent. Hansen and Rodriguez said they added it to the products they tested as a positive control, believing its floral scent would attract mosquitoes. It turns out, bugs hated the smell. But in addition to the problem that few people would want to douse all their exposed skin in perfume, there is another impediment to researching many cosmetics. The ingredients are secret. "It's probably composed of dozens of secret ingredients, and maybe one or two of them are repellents," says Rodriguez. "We don't know what the active agent is."

    How often should you re-apply a repellent?

    Generally, it's a good bet to follow the manufacturer's instructions, experts said. People who will be outside for an hour or two hour should be protected with, say, a product that contains a lower concentration of DEET (about 10 percent — identified on the label). Those who will be out in the woods, or jungle or marshland, should use a higher concentration of 20 to 25 percent, and refresh every four hours or so, says Dr. Jorge Rey, interim director of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach. "The higher the concentration, the longer it lasts," says Rey.
    And again, follow manufacturer's directions on the amount used. "A lot of people think that if a little is good, a lot is better," says Reisen. "You don't have to take a bath in the stuff."

    What kind of clothing helps protect against bites?

    When Rey goes on research trips to highly infested areas, like the Florida Everglades, he suits up. "We wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts," he says. "If it's particularly bad, we use hats with nets coming down over the face. And we depend on repellent on exposed areas." That could mean hands, necks and faces. But don't spray the face, experts say. To avoid irritating the eyes, put the repellent on hands and rub it on the face.

    And don't forget the feet. Mosquitoes have quirky olfactory preferences. Many of them, especially the Aedes variety that transmits the Zika virus, love the smell of feet.

    "Wearing sandals isn't a good idea," says Rodriguez. Shoes and socks are called for, and tucking pants into socks or shoes helps keep mosquitoes from getting inside clothing. She wears long pants when outdoors in mosquito territory — and definitely not yoga pants. "Spandex is very mosquito friendly. They bite through it. I wear baggier pants and long sleeved shirts, doused in DEET."
    Reisen adds high-topped boots to the mosquito prevention outfit and often work gloves. "Since I'm bald as a cucumber, I also wear a hat. I wear glasses, so more and more of me is getting covered."

    Strickman lived in Thailand for a while, and he'd start his day armed with a spray bottle of repellent. "I'd spray my socks, the lower part of my trousers and the upper part of my shoes," he says. "The mosquito that transmits Zika has a strong tendency to bite parts of the body that are near the ground."

    What else can reduce the risk of mosquito bites?

    Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day, but the one that transmits Zika prefers mid-morning and early evening, says Strickman. If possible, stay indoors in screened-in or air-conditioned buildings during those times.

    Since these particular mosquitoes breed in standing water in containers like plant pots, old tires, buckets and trash cans, people should rid their immediate area of things that can collect water. "Swimming pools, unless they're abandoned, are okay," says Rey. The chemicals used to keep pools safe for swimming also keep mosquitoes away. It takes some close looking to find every possible breeding ground for mosquitoes. "I've seen some developing in a film of water next to a sink, or in the bottom of a glass people use to brush their teeth," says Strickman. Cleaning up all those areas of standing water can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes. "It's up to individuals to make their own backyards safe," says Rey. And their front yards and as much of their surrounding environment as possible.
    The more people do that kind of basic clean-up, the fewer mosquitoes there will be. "It may not be perfect, but you'll lower the number of mosquitoes tremendously," says Strickman.

    Can you get to zero bites?

    "There's no way you're going to prevent all the mosquitoes from biting, but you can reduce your chances of getting bitten," says Rodriguez.
    And Rey is deeply concerned about Zika because of all that science doesn't yet know about the virus. So he stresses how important it is to use the preventive efforts we have available.

    "Your chances of getting infected with some mosquito-borne illness are never zero," he says. "You don't change your lifestyle. But you take precautions."

    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  2. #2
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    Not much more than we all have been saying.
    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

    Andy

  3. #3
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    One obvious one -- it is impossible to totally prevent a bite. If you really are at risk, just don't go.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

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    It may not say much more than we've all been saying, but I know some folks who will especially value the imprimatur of science that is being given to the warnings posted here. In layman terms, we revert to Andy's principles. As a further note, I'd like to know what products contain Picadirin & lemon eucalyptus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    It may not say much more than we've all been saying, but I know some folks who will especially value the imprimatur of science that is being given to the warnings posted here. In layman terms, we revert to Andy's principles. As a further note, I'd like to know what products contain Picadirin & lemon eucalyptus.
    My Helpful hints gives the lemon product name, Dennis. I have 2 at home.
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    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

    Andy

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    . . . didn't remember that, Andy . . . do you know if they're available on SBH? Personally, I'm swath my arms, legs, feet, & neck in "Eau d'Off," and no one recoils from me. But, lemon eucalyptus sounds better!

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    I have not seen them on SBH but I haven't been in every store either. I use Lemon at home because my cat won't come near me if I use Deet. I'll use Deet on SBH because the danger is too great.
    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

    Andy

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    I sell all the best all natural products including the one mentioned above and this product outsells them all 8 to 1 in my store ...repeat sales are about the best testament one can ask for...it's unbiased and has no agenda ....we have a very large camping population in the summer and our bug problem here borders on ridiculous at certain times of year.....

    so FWIW...this is our clear cut winner of the bunch

    http://www.tremblingleaf.com
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    It may not say much more than we've all been saying, but I know some folks who will especially value the imprimatur of science that is being given to the warnings posted here. In layman terms, we revert to Andy's principles. As a further note, I'd like to know what products contain Picadirin & lemon eucalyptus.
    In addition to Cutter, Burt's Bees and Avon skin so soft have Picadirin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike R View Post
    I sell all the best all natural products including the one mentioned above and this product outsells them all 8 to 1 in my store ...repeat sales are about the best testament one can ask for...it's unbiased and has no agenda ....we have a very large camping population in the summer and our bug problem here borders on ridiculous at certain times of year.....

    so FWIW...this is our clear cut winner of the bunch

    http://www.tremblingleaf.com
    Thanks, Mike. Had not heard of this product. Will check it out.

  11. #11
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    All,

    Please note, copied from the original article above:


    But DEET isn't the only weapon. Products containing the active ingredients picaridin and IR 3535 are as effective, says Strickman. And repellents with any of those active ingredients are recommended as safe and effective by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are widely available around the world.

    Actually, Strickman gives the edge to picardin. (emphasis added)

    "Picaridin is a little more effective than DEET and seems to keep mosquitoes at a greater distance," he says. When people use DEET, mosquitoes may land on them but not bite. When they use a product containing picaridin, mosquitoes are less likely to even land. Repellents with IR 3535 are slightly less effective, Strickman says, but they don't have the strong smell of other products.


    Last November, I used Sawyer's Fisherman's Formula, which contains picardin (and is DEET-free). I was rarely bitten (as long as I remembered to apply and re-apply it) and I am typically the WORST of all mosquito magnets. Best of all, for all of you who carry-on, REI sells it in 3 oz bottles !!!

    Here is the link to it on the REI website.

    http://www.rei.com/product/785883/sawyer-picaridin-insect-repellent-3-oz

    I hope that helps,
    Jim Anderson

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    We have been asking here on the island and from what we have gathered there has not been a report of a zika case thus far, comments?

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    Thanks, Jim.

    With the potential for newbies joining us on our next trip, I'm looking at all options. While Deep Woods Off and Mosquito Milk have always been my DEET-based defensive means of choice, I'm looking at Picaridin as an alternative. I see Sawyer products with 20% Picaridin on Amazon too, but they require ground shipping. I've got plenty of time to buy, but those who live in an everything-is-done-at-the-last-minute world may want to plan ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    We have been asking here on the island and from what we have gathered there has not been a report of a zika case thus far, comments?

    As T3 commented in another post:

    The press release references information from the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (INVS) in the statement that circulation of Zika virus has not been proven in St Barth ("Conformément au dernier point épidémiologique… aucune circulation du virus ZIKA n'est averee dans la Collectivité de Saint Barthélemy").

    The INVS, in its most recent point épidémiologique (1/28/16), notes difficulties related to identifying Zika cases in the setting of the ongoing dengue epidemic:

    "A Saint-Barthélemy, aucun cas de Zika confirmé biologiquement n’a été signalé à ce jour. Sur ce territoire, l’épidémie de dengue (sérotype DENV1) se poursuit depuis la semaine 2016-01. Ce phénomène rend plus difficile le repérage clinique de cas suspects de Zika."

    In Saint-Barthélemy, no case of laboratory confirmed Zika has been reported to date. In this territory, the dengue epidemic (serotype DENV1) continues since the 2016-01 week. This makes clinical identification of suspected cases of Zika difficult.

    The INVS has been consistent in mentioning this difficulty.

    https://www.sbhonline.com/forums/thr...INT-BARTHEMELY
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    Thanks, Jim.

    With the potential for newbies joining us on our next trip, I'm looking at all options. While Deep Woods Off and Mosquito Milk have always been my DEET-based defensive means of choice, I'm looking at Picaridin as an alternative. I see Sawyer products with 20% Picaridin on Amazon too, but they require ground shipping. I've got plenty of time to buy, but those who live in an everything-is-done-at-the-last-minute world may want to plan ahead.
    The above poster says it's available at REI stores if there's one in your area.

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    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

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    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

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    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

    Andy

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    Does anybody know if they sell ThermaCell anywhere in St barts? They work amazing at keeping mosquitos away. They use butane and I don't think we can fly with them so hope we can find them down there

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    First time I recall hearing about this device.

    http://www.thermacell.com/mosquito-repellent/outdoors
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

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    They are a bit expensive if you use them a lot but they really work Name:  Unknown.jpeg
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    I wonder if anyone offers short-term rental of these larger propane-fueled devices?


    https://www.sbhonline.com/forums/threads/84818

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike R View Post
    I sell all the best all natural products including the one mentioned above and this product outsells them all 8 to 1 in my store ...repeat sales are about the best testament one can ask for...it's unbiased and has no agenda ....we have a very large camping population in the summer and our bug problem here borders on ridiculous at certain times of year.....

    so FWIW...this is our clear cut winner of the bunch

    http://www.tremblingleaf.com
    Mike - is there a particular scent that seems to work better or is more popular (Lemon, Spicy, etc)? Looks like they have a number of scents - just wondering which one seems to be the preferred favorite among your customers.
    "One cat just leads to another" - Ernest Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by MantyPam View Post
    Mike - is there a particular scent that seems to work better or is more popular (Lemon, Spicy, etc)? Looks like they have a number of scents - just wondering which one seems to be the preferred favorite among your customers.
    we sell the light lemony and the warm spicy and light lemony outsells warm and spicy.....but both products have a strong resell in our shop with rave review from our customers....we also field tested it in St Barts and it worked very very well
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Timeless Tips on How to Avoid Mosquito Bites has now been edited to include the info about Picaridin


    https://www.sbhonline.com/forums/thr...Mosquito-Bites
    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

    Andy

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by sfbarts View Post
    Does anybody know if they sell ThermaCell anywhere in St barts? They work amazing at keeping mosquitos away. They use butane and I don't think we can fly with them so hope we can find them down there
    I have not found them in St Barth. Some similar products at Marché but I doubt as good.


    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    First time I recall hearing about this device.http://www.thermacell.com/mosquito-repellent/outdoors
    Brought up in this thread along with information regarding clothing treatments just over 2 years ago during the era of chikungunya... may have fallen victim to MFR or TMI... hopefully not ARML...:)

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    Your posts are much too informative for MFR or TMI!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

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    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    Your posts are much too informative for MFR or TMI!
    Likewise for TL;DR.

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    I think you in people are a disgrace speaking in initials that no one else understands. I want my money back. This place is so crowded that no one comes here anymore.
    If you're going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill

    Andy

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    Thanks, Jim.

    With the potential for newbies joining us on our next trip, I'm looking at all options. While Deep Woods Off and Mosquito Milk have always been my DEET-based defensive means of choice, I'm looking at Picaridin as an alternative. I see Sawyer products with 20% Picaridin on Amazon too, but they require ground shipping. I've got plenty of time to buy, but those who live in an everything-is-done-at-the-last-minute world may want to plan ahead.

    Kevin,

    You are absolutely correct about picardin products requiring ground shipping. Also, the reason that I recommended the Sawyer's on the REI website (over Amazon, my go-to-company) was that the Sawyer's on REI is a 3 oz container and the one on Amazon (the last time that I checked) was 4 oz. For those carrying on only, the REI 3 oz size would likely be preferable.

    Jim

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jima1742 View Post
    Kevin,

    You are absolutely correct about picardin products requiring ground shipping. Also, the reason that I recommended the Sawyer's on the REI website (over Amazon, my go-to-company) was that the Sawyer's on REI is a 3 oz container and the one on Amazon (the last time that I checked) was 4 oz. For those carrying on only, the REI 3 oz size would likely be preferable.

    Jim
    Thank you for finding this and providing the link. I just picked up a couple of bottles at our REI for my husband and daughter who are traveling to Colombia in a couple of weeks. She's already had dengue and chikungunya and I don't want her to add Zika to the list…the two of them are mosquito magnets, so I have my fingers crossed.

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