Friday, May 14, 2010

Watch that DEET

It’s bug time! Mosquitoes, ticks, Bees, wasps, Lyme Disease, West Nile…oh, our insect friends are creepy, all right.

In the US, there are 20,000 confirmed cases of insect-borne diseases each year.

First, you can get them before they get you. This means community spraying. In our community this means airplanes spewing poison on you.

To aid, you can dump standing water in the littlest containers in your yard and let your fish eat critters that land on your pond. Don’t let swimming pools go green—a problem with foreclosures being what they are.

Check out the CDC’s bug advice at If a product contains permethrin—it’s for clothes only, not skin.

The most popular repellent—DEET—must be used cautiously. It can zonk out baby rats and make them walk funny or die.

Gulf War Syndrome may also be attributed in part to DEET.

Use below 30% concentration for adults, 10% for kids. Never use DEET on babies under age 2.

Don’t use DEET—even to spray your yard—if you take certain meds.

Outside, you can use a bug zapper, or a citronella candle.

Avon’s famous Skin so Soft that is said to gross out bugs? Some swear by it.

You can also avoid strong perfumes (bugs like those). Check for ticks when leaving the woods. Wear light-colored, loose clothes outside (no red).

Heck, stay indoors. I plan to. I have seen "Deliverance."


gcstand said...

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that infants as young as two months of age can use DEET-based products in concentrations up to 30%. This is important to know if you are in an area where insect and tick-borne diseases are endemic. Also, for ticks you must use a concentration of at least 15% (20% is what CDC recommends). Both the AAP and the CDC have reviewed the published and unpublished information on DEET and have thoroughly vetted this repellent ingredient. The most commonly reported adverse event is stinging in the eyes--most products contain alcohol. For more information on repellents, see I work for the DEET Education Program, Washington. These products have been used successfully for more than five decades and the urban legends about adverse events are associated with gross misuse of the product and/or science studies that have been questioned by the scientific community. Call 800-789-3300 for information on repellents any time.

Star Lawrence said...

Thanks for the input--I stand by the CDC for now, but readers can decide for themselves. I used to work for a trade association, too--I know the drill. I am not saying you are wrong, just that mileage may vary. I tend to err on the side of caution. I wonder how many doctors hose these preparations onto their own kids. We have a West Nile problem here in Arizona...I tell my kid to at least burn the candle when she is on the patio at night. She usually won't.

Star Lawrence said...

I checked the AAP site--they do say 30% is OK for young kids over 2 mos. They say 10% only works for 10 minutes. They also say to wash the repellent off kids when they come indoors...I wonder if everyone does that.