RACINE, Wis., May 3, 2018 – A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that instances of tick and mosquito-borne diseases like Zika virus and Lyme disease have increased more than 350 percent since 2004 in the United States. With warmer weather on the horizon and more people heading out of doors, the experts from the SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health offer three useful tips to help protect you and your family from mosquitoes that may carry Zika or West Nile virus and ticks that may carry Lyme disease.
“Mosquitoes and ticks are more than just a nuisance, as they can also carry and transmit serious diseases. It’s important that families learn what they can do to reduce their potential risk,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at SC Johnson. “There is a large body of evidence that suggests an effective way to repel mosquitoes and ticks, and prevent bites, is by using a personal insect repellent with an active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin.”
Choosing the right personal insect repellent and following the instructions on its label will help keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay, allowing more time for making memories outdoors. Consider these three tips from the expert entomologists at the SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health. For more information about repellents and mosquitoes, visit www.scjohnson.com/mosquitoes.
Tip #1: Select the Right Repellent
Generally, personal insect repellents work by forming a vapor barrier at the skin’s surface that affects the scent receptors in the biting insect, which helps to keep them off treated skin. Repellents come in many forms, including lotions and aerosol sprays, and often contain active ingredients such as DEET and Picaridin (also known as, KBR 3023, Icaridin or Saltidin.) Both active ingredients are effective in repelling mosquitoes. However, it is important to note that only insect repellents that contain 20 percent or more DEET or Picaridin are recommended by the CDC to repel ticks and prevent tick bites. Make sure to read the label carefully to determine which insects the product repels.
Generally, the more active ingredient a product contains, the longer it will last. Higher concentrations are appropriate for activities that involve being outside for an extended time, while lower concentrations work well for activities that will keep you outside for only a few hours. Before each application of a personal insect repellent, first read the product label to ensure you’re using it the correct way and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Tip #2: Apply Repellents Only on Exposed Skin and Clothes
In addition to regularly using an insect repellent, it is important to apply it correctly. Properly applying repellent can be the difference between a good time with family and friends or considering cutting short a fun day outdoors.
Repellents should be used only on exposed skin and clothing to prevent mosquitoes and ticks from biting. For example, if using a personal insect repellent aerosol spray, it is generally recommended to shake the can first, and then hold it 15-20 centimeters, or 6-8 inches, away from exposed skin and clothing. Spray in a slow sweeping motion and apply just enough to cover exposed skin. Applying an excess of repellent doesn’t equate to stronger coverage. Never apply repellents underneath clothing or directly on certain fabrics such as rayon, spandex, acetate or other synthetic fabrics.
Tip #3: Use Caution When Applying to Your Face
To use repellent on your face, apply it to your hands first, and then distribute it over your face and neck. Avoid contact with your eyes, lips and ears. After application, wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap. Never spray or rub the product over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
Additionally, it is important for the application of personal insect repellents on children to be supervised by an adult. Review the product label for information about child age usage restrictions and be sure to follow the directions for application and use. Start by spraying or applying cream to your own hands first, then apply it to the child.
For more information on things you can do to help protect yourself and your family against mosquitoes, please visit www.scjohnson.com/mosquitoes. Additional education materials and resources are available on the site in 13 languages.
About the SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health
The SC Johnson Institute of Insect Science for Family Health – previously known as the SC Johnson Entomology Research Center – was established in 1957. Its main location in Racine, Wisconsin, is one of the world’s largest private, urban entomology research centers. In 2013, SC Johnson expanded its research operations globally, opening the first-of-its-kind research facility in China. Company researchers study and advance the sciences of insect biology, physiology, ecology, behavior and toxicology. The Institute also tests pest control formulations and delivery systems to help families protect themselves from insects and the diseases they may carry. Insights from the Institute help SC Johnson in the development of its OFF!®, Raid®, Baygon®, Autan®, AllOut® and other consumer pest control brands that have been trusted by families for generations. For more information, please go to www.scjohnson.com/mosquitoes
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. May 2, 2018. Preventing Tick Bites. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html