Insect Spray Myths◀ Back To Blog
July 8, 2014
This summer and anytime it is important to protect your skin from the annoying, blood sucking pests that we all know as mosquitoes. Using bug spray is a great way to protect yourself from these pests along with protecting yourself and family from the diseases associated with mosquitoes like West Nile Virus.
According to The Active Times, there are many popular bug repellent myths roaming around the internet as well as in the hardware stores. Everything from foods that make you less attractive to bugs to special gadgets that will drive mosquitoes away. Knowing the truth about these 8 common myths can protect you from some serious bug bites this summer.
1. DEET is Dangerous
Not true! DEET has always been and remains to be the most effective repellent. It is recommended not to use more than 50% DEET on skin, as skin can be sensitive to this. But, the EPA recently reviewed DEET again in 2014 and continues to believe that DEET does not present any health concerns for general population or the environment.
2. Natural is Better
Dr. Susan Stuart, an expert in dermatology and lasers finds natural remedies ineffective, “Some bug sprays which only contain plant oils like some essential plant oils like citronella oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil and soy bean oil are relatively ineffective.
3. Stronger Repellent Means Fewer Mosquitos
False, stronger repellents only last longer, and calls for less reapplication. This does not enable it to repel more mosquitoes
4. You Should Spray Repellent Like Perfume
You should never spray repellent like perfume. It should be used similarly to sunscreen where you rub into all your skin. If you read the directions on any repellent bottle it will tell you how important it is to completely cover your skin.
5. Eating Garlic and Vitamin B Make You Less Attractive
There is a common myth that garlic and vitamin B make you less attractive to mosquitoes. This is not scientifically proven. The American Mosquito Control Association states that, “The attractant level of each individual to biting arthropods is based on a complex interaction of many chemical and visual signals.”
6. Mouthwash/Listerine Fights Off Mosquitoes
The Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement District came to the conclusion, “Listerine is an ineffective pesticide to use against mosquitoes. While it may seem to kill them initially, those mosquitoes have a high probability of recovering. The initial knockdown is most likely due to the mosquitoes getting wet from the direct spray. Once the wings dry, they may recover and resume flight.”
7. Dryer Sheets Repel
The Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement District found that dryer sheets were ineffective, except for ONE less mosquito. So if you are worried about repelling just ONE, go for the dryer sheets.
8. Sound Drives Them Crazy
The AMCA answered the question, "Do ultrasonic devices work?" with a definitive no. While people still flock to buy the sound emitting devices, the AMCA states, “At least 10 studies in the past 15 years have unanimously denounced ultrasonic devices as having no repellency value whatsoever.“
As summer seems to fly by each year, we hope with debunking these insect spray myths you can enjoy the outdoors more without nagging mosquitoes. Taking the preventative steps such as bug spray, reducing mosquito prone areas coupled with an ongoing pest control service, you can reduce your risk against mosquito and insect bites. With cases of West Nile increasing it is important to protect your family, health and property. To learn more about Thomas Pest Services and our green mosquito service, complete our contact form to learn how Thomas Pest can assist with your mosquito problem.