Arkansas, like many other parts of the country, has had lots of rain over the last month. Many areas have suffered flooding. The farmers have had difficulty getting their crops planted. All this heavy rain is perfect for one thing -- mosquitoes to lay their eggs and breed.
So while the farmers may suffer a reduced crop, there will most likely be an explosion in the population of the mosquitoes in the next few weeks. The increase in mosquitoes may mean an increase in the diseases they carry, like West Nile.
Mosquito Control authorities advise residents to make sure there isn't any standing water near their homes. If there is something in the yard that collects water, empty it every time it rains.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of mosquito repellents with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 as the active ingredient. DEET and Picaridin are characterized as “conventional repellents” and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, PMD, and IR3535 as “biopesticide repellents”, which are derived from natural materials. For more information on repellent active ingredients go here.
When using insect repellents keep these precautions in mind:
- Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label.) Do not use repellents under clothing.
- Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
- Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays, do not spray directly on face—spray on hands first and then apply to face.
- Do not allow children to handle the product. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. You may not want to apply to children’s hands.
- Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application and saturation are generally unnecessary for effectiveness. If biting insects do not respond to a thin film of repellent, then apply a bit more.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days. Also, wash treated clothing before wearing it again. (This precaution may vary with different repellents—check the product label.)
- If you or your child get a rash or other bad reaction from an insect repellent, stop using the repellent, wash the repellent off with mild soap and water, and call a local poison control center for further guidance. If you go to a doctor because of the repellent, take the repellent with you to show the doctor.
Note the label for products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus specifies that they should not to be used on children under the age of three years. Other than those listed above, EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children or on pregnant or lactating women,. For additional information regarding the use of repellent on children, please see CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about Repellent Use.