Late spring and summer in Oregon means the bugs-from mosquitos to wasps-are just starting to become nusances. So how can you keep them away and what should you do if they bite? Former pharmacist turned health educator Ronda Gates stopped by to offer her advice.
Note: Insect repellents do not work against bees
Despite marketing materials that insist they work, most "natural" products (lemon oil, etc.) do not.
Insect repellents for flying insects (mosquito, biting fly)
Insect repellents are divided into two categories:
Insect Repellents and Children
Use common sense. To help keep children safe from insect bites:
Tick Repellent products containing permethrin should be applied to clothing, not to skin.
You don’t have to have a pond or marsh in your backyard to breed mosquitoes. A shallow puddle, infant pool, empty bucket or old tin can are potential mosquito hatcheries. To eliminate as many of their breeding sites as possible:
Ten Ways to Create a "Bite-Free" backyard.
1. Keep your gutters clear and free flowing.
2. Keep child-size swimming pools drained when not in use.
3. Continually refresh and replenish the water in swimming pools and birdbaths.
4. Store unused flowerpots, watering cans, and empty plastic containers in your garage or shed.
5. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed to minimize breeding habitat for mosquitoes.
6. Level your yard in low spots to eliminated puddles and pooling water.
7. Remove old stumps.
8. Use a permethrin-based mosquito spray on your lawn, trees, shrubs, and flowers.
9. Apply a DEET or Picaridin based insect repellent, to exposed skin. An effective repellent will contain 7% to 35% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide).
Ronda Gates is a Lake Oswego, OR, based pharmacist turned health educator whose entertaining and educational motivational speeches about many areas of health have led her to be described as "the Erma Bombeck of health"! To learn more about Ronda visit www.rondagates.com. You can reach her via her business, LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates, 503.697.7572.