Zika virus is here. Each week seems to bring a new report of how it might be transmitted, but we know that mosquitoes are the prime carrier. Those pesky little buggers also carry other diseases, not to mention leaving ugly little whelps where they bite you. In short, if you’ve never thought too much about insect repellent, now is the time to start.
These over the counter repellents also protect from summer’s ubiquitous fleas and assorted biting flies. You can purchase them in various dispensers, with or without DEET, scented or unscented, and at various prices.
Which should you use? It's best to forego the do-it-yourself concoctions you’ll see showcased on various web sites. Now is not the time for hit or miss.
DEET? If a repellent works for you without that much maligned chemical, by all means go for it. If you’re major mosquito bait every summer, you may wish to stick with the formulas that contain DEET, at least until the Zika crisis has passed.
Remember to read the directions; basically don’t rub the spray into skin or don clothing while skin is still damp with the spray. Check after first use for any adverse skin reactions. Don’t let pets come in contact with anything damp from the spray.
What are your best choices? Here are six major brands packaged in atomizer type spray bottles:
Off - 4.99 for 6 ounces
Cutter - 4.99 for 6 ounces
Repel - 5.99 for 4 ounces
Greenerways - 7.99 for 6 ounces
Coleman - 4.99 for 5 ounces
Eco-Defense - 9.99 for 4 ounces
Most of these sprays are fairly economical and last 12 hours or so. In extremely hot weather you’re more apt to perspire, so you may need to apply twice during a day spent outside, or in homes where fleas may be present.
Hoping nothing more than an attractive vampire bites any of you this summer!