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Facts About...

WEST NILE VIRUS - MOSQUITOES AND PERSONAL PRECAUTIONS


How can I protect myself from mosquito bites?

Mosquitoes are most active from May through September and from dusk to dawn. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, the following personal precautions should be taken:

Note: Vitamin B, ultrasonic devices, incense, citronella plants and bug zappers have NOT been shown to be effective in preventing mosquito bites.

How do I choose an insect repellent?

Choose a product 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 repellent and repeat application only if you need a longer protection time. Ensure that the product is registered under the Pest Control Products Act and is labelled as an insect repellent for use on humans. Never use a product labelled as an insecticide on your body.

Can I use both sunscreen and a personal insect repellent?

Sunscreen and personal insect repellents can be used safely at the same time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the package for proper application of each product. Apply the sunscreen first, and follow with the insect repellent. Some personal insect repellent products used to contain sunscreen compounds. These products were phased out as of December 2003. If you still have sunscreen/DEET products, dispose of them in your household garbage.

For further general information on choosing an insect repellent product and updated information on using insect repellents containing DEET, please refer to the Health Canada website.

General Information for ALL Personal Insect Repellents:

Are insect repellents containing DEET safe to use?

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) re-evaluated DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) in 2002 and they have now established more stringent guidelines for DEET use by children and adults. While repellents with higher concentrations of DEET are known to provide protection from mosquitoes for longer periods of time, caution must always be exercised when using DEET-based products on children.

Health Canada currently approves the following DEET concentrations for different age groups.

Children under 6 months of age

Children aged 6 months to 2 years

Children between 2-12 years of age

Adults and Youth 12 Years of Age or Older

More information can be obtained from

Durham Region Health Department, Environmental Help Line, 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.

April 22, 2013