KSC Sanitation & Public Health
Mosquitos & Biting Insects
While the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness is small, people can reduce their risk of a mosquito-borne illness by adopting the following strategies: staying indoors after dusk as much as possible, reschedule evening activities to an earlier time when appropriate, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, use mosquito repellants when outside. If your work requires you to be outside in mosquito-infested areas, wear mosquito garments treated with repellant.
Precautions when Using Insect Repellents
Note: Vitamin B and ultrasonic devices are not effective in preventing mosquito bites
- Apply repellents only to exposed skin or clothing, as directed on the product label. Do not apply repellents under clothing
- Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin
- When using sprays, do not spray directly on face—spray on hands first and then apply to face. Do not apply repellents to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears
- Wash hands after application to avoid accidental exposure to eyes or ingestion
- Children should not handle repellents. Instead, adults should apply repellents to their own hands first and then gently spread on the child’s exposed skin. Avoid applying directly to children’s hands
- Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing. Heavy application and saturation are generally unnecessary for effectiveness. If biting insects do not respond to a thin film of repellent, apply a bit more
- After returning indoors, wash repellent-treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days
- Wash treated clothing before wearing it again. This precaution may vary with different repellents—check the product label
As mentioned, repellents containing the compound DEET are most effective; however, repellents with high concentrations of DEET (> 10 percent) should not be used on infants or children. Whenever you use insecticides or insect repellents, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use as printed on the product.