Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eight Tips For A Bug-Free Summer

With approximately 42,000 mosquitoes for every person in Ontario, most of us spend a great deal of our summers swatting away these pesky insects. Protecting yourself against mosquitoes will not only make your summer more enjoyable, it will help prevent you and your family from getting annoying and sometimes dangerous bug bites.
As a family physician, I recommend the following tips for a bug free summer.
Stay Scent-Free. Avoid using scented soaps, lotions and shampoos.
Gear Up. Cover your skin as completely as possible. This may be challenging by the beach, but when possible wear long sleeves, pants and socks.
Be Colour Conscious. Mosquitoes are attracted to blue, so avoid this colour and stick to neutral colours.
Use Repellent. Repellents containing DEET are most effective for areas with heavy mosquito or tick infestation.
Alternative Repellents. When applied frequently, citronella-based repellents can provide the same bug protection as products containing low concentrations of DEET. I recommend Natrapel®, which contains 10 percent citronella to ward off bugs for up to two hours.
Meal Time. Be alert to the time of day when certain insects are most active such as dawn and twilight.
Check Point. Upon returning indoors, check your children and yourself for bites.
Treatment. Sunburn and bite treatment products should be included in every outdoor adventurer's travel kit.
Dr. Brian Aw is a general practitioner specializing in travel medicine.
For more tips on bug bite prevention and product information visit: