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How can I minimize exposure to mosquitoes

For over 60 years, bug experts from SC Johnson’s Center for Insect Science and Family Health, one of the largest private, urban entomology research centers in the world, have been dedicated to studying insects like ants, cockroaches, and mosquitoes.

With six decades of research leadership, SCJ teams have the insights, and products, to help protect you and your family from mosquitoes that may carry diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Zika.

As mosquitoes make their appearance throughout the year, here are five helpful tips from our bug experts to protect your family from mosquitoes:

1. Remove standing water. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so removing it from your home and high traffic areas outside your home can reduce their numbers. Rain gutters, buckets, bird baths or fountains with stagnant water are all possible breeding sites.

2. Avoid planning activities around peak mosquito hours. Although mosquitoes can bite any time of the day, they are most active at dawn and dusk. Schedule your outdoor activities to avoid these times when possible.

3. Apply personal repellent. Applying a personal pest repellent correctly can help protect you from mosquito bites. Before using, always read the product label and follow directions. Personal repellents come in many  forms, including lotions, aerosol sprays and wipes, and may contain active ingredients such as DEET or picaridin. Personal repellents should be used on exposed skin to prevent mosquitoes from biting. Some repellents should not be used with certain fabrics such as rayon, spandex, acetate or other synthetic fabrics, so it’s important to always read the product label before applying to clothing.

4. Wear appropriate clothing. Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites by acting as a barrier between your skin and the mosquito. When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors. In addition, consider wearing light-colored clothing as mosquitoes can be more attracted to darker colors.

5. Have spatial repellents on hand to keep mosquitoes away. Area, or spatial repellents, are used to reduce encounters between humans and mosquitoes in a broad area, including outdoor seating or around the yard. There are many kinds of area repellents, so read the individual label carefully before selecting a product that’s right for your family.

The researchers at the SC Johnson Center for Insect Science and Family Health are dedicated to entomological research to better understand and manage insects that may carry diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika. Since the 1950s, SC Johnson researchers in Racine, Wisconsin have studied and advanced the sciences of insect biology, physiology, ecology, behavior and toxicology, as well as infestation management and insect-borne disease prevention.