Tips to protect yourself from dangers of mosquito bites - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tips to protect yourself from dangers of mosquito bites

FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Mosquitoes are out in full force and with an already confirmed case of West Nile in Kansas, it is important for people to protect themselves.

Those planning a Labor Day weekend picnic and trying to find a safe method to keep the mosquitos away might find a lot of options. But you could be surprised to find out what actually works.

Spray has been the way for generations, namely products with DEET, which experts insist is not dangerous.

"One of the great things about DEET is it's been around for a long time, since the 40s and 50s. We've got 60 years of research on the product," said Rick Miller, an agricultural and community development agent for the Johnson County Extension.

Miller said the key to insect repellent is odor.

"It's really the sweat from your body, the chemistry of your body as you perspire, that is attractive to mosquitoes and ticks and chiggers, and that is how they find you," Miller said.

Repellents cover that odor, hence natural products with strong citrus smells. But whether they work is really about how long they work.

Miller pulled some studies on the issue.

Citronella products score low. The top one lasts about 20 minutes. Next on the natural list is something that is also a cooking oil.

A block containing 2 percent soybean oil lasted an hour and a half.

But the only natural ingredient that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended is the oil of lemon eucalyptus.

At two hours, it is about equal to a 7 percent DEET spray.

A 25 percent DEET spray came in at five hours, but the lower concentration is billed as "soft on skin," because Miller said that is the main risk with DEET.

"Not so much that it is toxic, but that it is just really irritating to some people's skin," he said.

So what about mosquito-repelling bands?

The study, admittedly 10 years old, looked at bands with citronella and ones with DEET. Both lasted zero minutes.

Others may have also heard of the dryer sheet trick and rub it all over. Miller couldn't find any reputable study on that.

The truth is, Miller said, different people smell different.

So just like the same perfume will smell different on different people, most scent maskers work more or less effectively on different people.

Click here for more information on one of the studies used and other cautions.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Police say teen who searched for missing pal was his killer

    Police say teen who searched for missing pal was his killer

    Thursday, April 19 2018 4:56 PM EDT2018-04-19 20:56:14 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 3:01 AM EDT2018-04-20 07:01:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mike Balsamo). Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina, left, speaks next to Deputy Joana Warren outside of the sheriff's homicide bureau office in Monterey Park, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Los Angeles County sheriff's investigato...(AP Photo/Mike Balsamo). Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina, left, speaks next to Deputy Joana Warren outside of the sheriff's homicide bureau office in Monterey Park, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Los Angeles County sheriff's investigato...
    Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators say a 16-year-old who was part of a search party looking for a missing high school sports star led the group to discover the boy's body but investigators suspect he was...More >>
    Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators say a 16-year-old who was part of a search party looking for a missing high school sports star led the group to discover the boy's body but investigators suspect he was the person who fatally stabbed him.More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills

    Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills

    Friday, April 20 2018 1:33 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:33:17 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 3:03 AM EDT2018-04-20 07:03:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Luc Novovitch, File). FILE - In this May 16, 1994 file photo, former first lady Barbara Bush reads to a group of children at the Clinton Family Inn, a shelter run by Homes for the Homeless in New York. Promoting literacy was a longtime cause ...(AP Photo/Luc Novovitch, File). FILE - In this May 16, 1994 file photo, former first lady Barbara Bush reads to a group of children at the Clinton Family Inn, a shelter run by Homes for the Homeless in New York. Promoting literacy was a longtime cause ...

    Barbara Bush came up with the idea of focusing on literacy as first lady during a jog in 1978, the year her husband considered his first run for president.

    More >>

    Barbara Bush came up with the idea of focusing on literacy as first lady during a jog in 1978, the year her husband considered his first run for president.

    More >>
  • Kushner Cos. subpoenaed by feds after AP report

    Kushner Cos. subpoenaed by feds after AP report

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:12 PM EDT2018-04-20 03:12:45 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 3:03 AM EDT2018-04-20 07:03:02 GMT
    The Kushner Cos. is confirming it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to documents about its buildings in New York City. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)The Kushner Cos. is confirming it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to documents about its buildings in New York City. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Kushner Cos. is confirming it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to documents about its buildings in New York City. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)The Kushner Cos. is confirming it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to documents about its buildings in New York City. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    The Kushner Cos. is confirming it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to an Associated Press report that the company filed dozens of false documents about its buildings in New York City.

    More >>

    The Kushner Cos. is confirming it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to an Associated Press report that the company filed dozens of false documents about its buildings in New York City.

    More >>
  • Southwest Airlines sought more time for engine inspections

    Southwest Airlines sought more time for engine inspections

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:02:22 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 3:00 AM EDT2018-04-20 07:00:40 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    More >>

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly