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Want to find out how to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes and other insects this summer? Let me tell you how.

According to a Public Health Agency a repellent containing 10% DEET wards against bug bites for three hours. Any DEET based products should be applied sparingly and never on your childs face or hands. Adults and young people aged 12 and over can use bug spray products containing up to 30% DEET. This gives you six hours of protection. Insect repellents should be applied sparingly while sunscreens are best applied liberally and frequently. In the case of a dual insect repellent/sunscreen product use it sparingly on exposed skin or on top of clothing – never under clothing. Heavy applications and saturation are unnecessary and can be harmful. Select a repellent that meets your needs. For example, if you plan to be outdoors for a short period of time choose a product with a lower concentration of DEET and repeat only if necessary.Many citronella-based repellents claim to offer the same protection as products containing low concentrations of DEET.

Prevention Hints:

*Consider staying indoors at peak mosquito feeding times at dawn and dusk.

*Avoid using scented soaps, lotions and shampoos.

*Cover you skin as completely as possible when outdoors.

*Studies have shown that mosquitoes are attracted to the colour blue. Conduct your own study wearing blue jeans and a neutral top and see where they bite first.

*Limit the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs by eliminating standing water sources around your home e.g. old tires are one of the most common mosquito breeding sites.

*Regularly empty any standing water from pool covers, saucers under flowerpots, childrens toys, pet bowls and wading pools.

On the flip side, ornamental ponds with fish are great for getting rid of mosquito larvae. Planting marigolds, lemon geraniums or basil around your yard is also good. The flowers give off a smell mosquitoes dont like.

Mosquito Bite Relief

Check your children and yourself for bites before the scratching starts. Conduct a routine inspection whenever you come indoors.

Moisten a bar of soap and rub on the bite. This will stop the itching and acts as a disinfectant.

Other techniques include applying a bit of toothpaste, rubbing a crushed red clover flower on the bite or applying a paste of baking soda and water.

And if you can catch the bite before it receives its first scratch you may want to dab on a little vinegar, lemon juice or the juice of a cut onion or garlic clove to soothe the itch.

So there you have it, a variety of insect repellent and mosquito bite tips to help keep you itch-free all season long.