May 27,

Personal Protection

Personal Protection

Personal Protective Measures for Yourself and Your Family:

Personal protective measures that people can take to reduce mosquito bites include:

  • Staying indoors at dusk and dawn because mosquitoes are most active during these times;
  • Using a bug repellent containing DEET, following the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Covering up with light coloured, long clothing.  This includes long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks. Also, wear footwear that covers exposed skin.

Insect Repellents:

  • Apply a bug repellent to clothes and exposed skin when it is necessary to be outdoors;
  • Avoid using personal insect repellents on children less than six months of age;
  • When using a repellent containing DEET use the following guideline
  1. Use a product with a low concentration if you are only going to be outside for a short time;
  2. Re-apply, or use a higher concentration product for longer periods of time.  Studies have shown that 30% DEET will provide protection against mosquito bites for 6.5 hours, and 10% will protect for 3 hours;
  3. Use a product with no more than 10% DEET, not more than once per day on children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years;
  4. Use a product with no more than 10% DEET, applied 3 times per day maximum on children ages 2 to 12 years, avoiding application of repellent to children’s hands and faces;
  5. When applying repellent to your face, spray the repellent on your hands and then wipe it on to your face avoiding the eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands following application.
  6. Avoid spraying repellent in enclosed areas and breathing in the spray

Alternative products to DEET:

  • Repellents containing 2% soybean oil are an alternative that provide protection against mosquitoes for approximately 3.5 hours.  There are no age or application restrictions for use of these products;
  • Products containing P-methane 3,8-diol will provide up to 2 hours of protection against mosquitoes and should not be used on children younger than 3 years of age or applied more than twice daily for those older than 3 years of age;
  • Avoid the use of citronella-based or lavender-based personal insect repellents due to the proposed phasing out of their use in Canada. For further information please check out Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

Last modified on Jun 29, 2015