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Don’t Let Bug Bites Ruin Your Fun

Summers are nice in Orange County. We love our warm weather and so do mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and spiders. This is when these pests come alive and they can almost make you shun the summer and stay indoors.

The good news is that you don’t have to let the bugs ruin your fun. In this article, we’re going to discuss why you should be concerned about these pests and you’ll learn ways to help protect yourself this summer.


Why Should Anyone Worry

About These Biting Pests?

Diseases transmitted by insects are a major source of illness and death worldwide. Mosquitoes alone transmit disease to over 700 million people annually. Did you know that Malaria kills over 3 million people each year, including one child every 30 seconds?

We’re fortunate here in the U.S. because insect-borne diseases aren’t nearly as big of a problem as they are in tropical and sub-tropical climates. But, we still have to deal with sporadic outbreaks of encephalitis and other diseases.

In California, we are currently dealing with a serious outbreak of a mosquito-borne disease called the West Nile Virus. More species of mosquitoes are now invading California. These non-native pests are potential carriers of Yellow fever, Dengue and Chikungunya. All of these diseases can be deadly and must be taken seriously.

Protection from insect bites is best achieved by avoiding infested habitats, wearing protective clothing and using insect repellants. In many circumstances, you’ll find that insect repellents may be the only feasible way to deal with insect bites.

When you consider that even a single insect bite from an infected insect could result in transmission of disease, it is really important for you to know which products can be relied on for protection.

There are a lot of insect repellent products available and they can be divided into two categories – synthetic chemicals and plant-derived essential oils.

The best known product is called DEET. This is a synthetic product that was originally developed by the U.S. Army. DEET can be applied to the skin or on clothing and is primarily used to repel mosquitoes. It is also very effective against tick bites. Ticks spread Lyme disease, rickettsioses and meningoencephalitis. Tests, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that products containing DEET provide the longest lasting protection.

When you’re shopping, it is very important you read the product labels and check the concentration rates. In their test, products with 23.8% DEET lasted up to 6 hours. Products with 4.75% DEET only lasted 1 ½ hours. Great examples of this would be when you compare S.C. Johnson’s “Off Deep Woods” (contains 23.8% DEET) with their “Off Skintastic” (contains only 6.7% DEET). The “Deep Woods” product lasted 6 hours, but their “Skintastic” product lasted only 2 hours.

None of the non-DEET products tested were able to offer protection for more than 90 minutes. Only the soybean-based repellent (HOMS Bite Blocker) was able to come close to matching the products containing the lowest levels of DEET.

Citronella oil was found to offer protection for 20 minutes. Another product you hear being touted a lot is “Skin So Soft”, by Avon. Test showed that Avon’s product only offered an average of 10 – 20 minutes protection.

Most alternatives to topically applied products, such as wrist bands, devices that emit sounds and products you swallow (garlic & thiamine), have all been proven to be ineffective.

DEET has a remarkable safety record after 40 years of use and nearly 8 billion human applications. If you’re still concerned and would like to use a more natural product, then “HOMS Bug Bite” with soybean oil might be your next best choice. Just keep in mind that it only offers about 90 minutes of protection.

Are you having a problem with bugs biting you at your own home and you don’t want to have to walk around wearing insect repellant everyday? You may have conditions around your home which are attracting these insects. If these pests are “bugging” you, call us at (949) 631-7348 and we’ll schedule a complimentary 57 Point Pest Control Audit for you. You’ll receive a lot of valuable information, you’ll learn what you can do to help yourself live pest-free and there’s absolutely no obligation to use our services!