Applying mosquito repellent

How Much Mosquito Repellent Do I Need to Get Through the Summer?

Mosquitoes prefer warm weather, so most Canadians have to deal with them in the summer. Among the most popular and successful mosquito control methods is the use of repellents, and here are a few essential tips to help you get the most out of them.

Choosing the Right Mosquito Repellent

Just because different mosquito repellents aim to accomplish the same thing—shield you from mosquito bites—doesn’t mean you should pick just any product. It’s crucial to consider several factors before deciding on the best mosquito repellent for you.

Users and Anyone Affected

Think about who will be using the product. Certain repellents contain varying concentrations of active ingredients suitable for specific age groups.

In addition to age, consider the user’s pre-existing conditions, such as allergies. Remember that choosing natural products does not guarantee their complete safety. You should check if the user is allergic to a particular product. Apply it to a small area of skin on the arm, then watch for at least a day to see if anything happens.

Should a reaction occur, discontinue using the product immediately and cleanse the area that was treated. Seek emergency medical attention, and when you visit your physician, bring the product container for a quick evaluation.

Aside from the direct user, consider others who may be affected. Applying mosquito repellent spray, for instance, will usually affect nearby areas. Therefore, ensure that no one is in the way of you applying the repellent. Use pet-safe repellent for mosquitoes if you have pets, as some products can cause seizures or other adverse reactions.

Protection Time

It’s also crucial to consider how long you need protection from mosquito bites. All products have effective protection windows ranging from a few hours to an entire day. For instance, picaridin-based mosquito repellents can offer three to four hours of protection.

An essential oil-based mosquito repellent might be a better option if you are only going to be outside for brief periods. You won’t have any unpleasant chemicals clinging to your skin or clothing, and because it’s natural, there is no risk of contamination.

Remember that temperature, sweating, and water exposure can significantly affect how long mosquito repellent protection lasts.

Form of Application

Mosquito repellents come in many forms, including lotions, sprays, moist towelettes, clip-on products, and treated clothing. They offer various advantages and use cases. Lotions, for example, are portable. You can easily and precisely apply the product to any body part you want to protect.

Sprays can be applied to your body as well as to objects like furniture and interior spaces. Clip-on repellents can repel mosquitoes without direct contact with the product. Meanwhile, individually wrapped disposable moist towelettes are convenient to carry and use, much like lotions.

Active Ingredients

Most mosquito repellents contain chemical-based or natural active ingredients like:

  • Lemon eucalyptus: This plant-based active ingredient is recommended by the CDC. It is derived from oil acquired from eucalyptus leaves and can repel mosquitoes for up to six hours.
  • A mixture of essential oils: Personal insect repellents typically contain different essential oils, like lemon, pine, geranium, and camphor oil.
  • DEET: This is a common ingredient in commercial chemical mosquito repellents and is known for its potentially unpleasant side effects.
  • Icaridin or picaridin: Although it has fewer undesirable side effects than DEET, icaridin is still toxic. Do not use it on infants under six months old.
  • Permethrin: In Canada, clothing treated with permethrin insecticide is available as a mosquito deterrent.
  • Soybean oil: This option repels blackflies and mosquitoes, but protection does not last long. It is safe to use on children.
  • Metofluthrin: Mosquito repellents with metofluthrin are used in clip-on devices.
  • P-Menthane-3, 8-diol: Products containing this active ingredient are not recommended for use on small children.

When shopping for mosquito repellent, make sure to read the ingredients. Consider learning more about other common active ingredients in mosquito repellents to help you make informed decisions when buying a product for you and your family.

How Much Mosquito Repellent Do You Need?

The amount of mosquito repellent you’ll need to get through the summer will depend on many factors, including the type of repellent you use and how often you need protection. For your safety, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Consider implementing mosquito control programs as well. The fewer mosquitoes there are on your property, the less mosquito repellent you’ll need.

Application Tips for Effective Mosquito Protection

That’s right—there are right and wrong ways to apply mosquito repellent. Proper application will allow you to maximize the product’s benefits and minimize the health risks. Here are some application tips:

  • Always read the label first. It displays critical details like ingredients, application instructions, and warnings.
  • While natural mosquito repellents are safer than the ones that use chemicals, you should still read the labels and follow their usage instructions.
  • Only apply the repellent to exposed skin or the top of clothing. Use a slow, sweeping motion, and avoid applying under clothing to ensure even application.
  • Re-apply the product only as necessary and as instructed by the manufacturer.
  • Wash the areas where you have applied repellent with soap and water once protection is no longer required or when you go inside your mosquito-proof home.
  • Do not apply repellent products to open wounds and irritated or sunburned skin.
  • Avoid applying directly onto your face, as the product could end up in your mouth or eyes. Rather, spray your hands with it before applying it to your face.
  • Sprays should not be used near food, indoors, or in enclosed areas because you may breathe in or consume the spray mist.
  • Use repellents when going outside during the time of day when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Don’t allow children to use repellent unsupervised.

Ensuring Safe and Sustainable Repellent Use

Chemical repellents, while effective and easily available, are bad for the environment and harmful to human health. Repellents containing man-made or synthetic active ingredients can cause various health effects, such as hormonal imbalances, after prolonged use. When not disposed of properly, chemical repellents can leave toxic residues on soil and in water.

Given the state of the environment these days, plant-based mosquito repellent is a better option. Plant-based mosquito repellents are a sustainable and safer alternative to long-established synthetic insect repellent products.

Plant-based repellents are derived from plants containing pest- or insect-repelling properties, like citronella and eucalyptus. They offer many benefits due to their naturally occurring properties, little to no adverse effects on beneficial insects, etc. Additionally, most plant-based oils can be locally sourced and produced in tropical countries.

Nowadays, insect-repelling compounds are extracted from plants or synthesized to be made into more efficient insect repellents. If you choose to use them, do not forget to read the label and follow the recommended amount. Too much of anything can be dangerous.

You can also consider planting mosquito-repellent plants in your garden. With this method, you can be sure you’re using all-natural repellent. Not only do they save you money, but these plants can also make your yard more beautiful.

Protect your Home From Mosquitos With LawnMart

Repellent can only do so much. Protect yourself and your family from itchy and potentially dangerous mosquito bites by implementing effective mosquito control strategies. At LawnMart, we can help you nip the problem in the bud. We have resources on how to repel mosquitoes, and we offer a two-part mosquito control program our knowledgeable team performs six times per season. The program includes everything you need to stop mosquitoes at the source without using harmful chemicals.

Need experts in mosquito control near you? Contact LawnMart today.