Safely Use Insect Repellents This Season

We know better than anyone mosquitoes and gnats can ruin backyard fun in the summer. Old South Exterminators is here to help! You can take back your yard with our monthly mosquito prevention plan. But if you’re planning a camping trip or a trip to the beach, we’ve put together some guidelines to remember when using insect repellents.

When using an insect repellent that is applied to the skin, make sure it is EPA registered and applied at the proper frequency.

They recommend when applying repellents:
  • Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing. Do not use under clothing.
  • Never apply repellent on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Do not apply near eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears.
Also, when using sprays:
  • Do not spray directly onto face; spray on hands first and then apply to face (avoiding eyes and mouth, and applying sparingly around ears).
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas.
  • Avoid breathing in the spray product.
  • Do not use near food.
Use of Insect Repellents on Children

When using any insect repellent on children, do all the above, plus:

  • Children often put their hands in their mouths and eyes, so you should not allow children to handle the product or apply it to children’s hands.
  • When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child.
  • After returning indoors, wash the child’s treated skin and clothes with soap and water or bathe.
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under the age of three. Other ingredients do not have an age restriction.
  • DEET is approved for use on children with no age restriction and no restriction on the percentage of DEET in the product.
General Insect Repellent Safety Tips
  • Product effectiveness can vary due to conditions such as physical activity/perspiration, water exposure, air temperature, your own attractiveness to mosquitoes and ticks. Thus, it is important to apply/reapply repellents according to the label instructions. Don’t overuse the products, but be sure to apply the amount of repellent indicated by the label.
  • Use additional preventive techniques to fully protect against ticks and prevent mosquito bites.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin and clothes with soap and water.
  • Do not use on pets or other animals unless the label clearly states it is for animals.
  • Store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children, in a locked utility cabinet or garden shed.