How to Properly Apply Insect Repellent

Man applying insect repellent to skin
Don’t forget the bug spray: Here’s how to apply insect repellent the right way.

Insect repellent is a necessity for many people in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut this summer, especially those of us who spend a lot of time outdoors. Recently, we did some hiking on Peaked Mountain in Monson, Massachusetts and were completely overwhelmed by mosquitos! It made us think, mosquitoes and ticks aren’t just pesky, their bites can be harmful for our health. It’s crucial that you and your family protect yourselves this summer, and one of the best ways to do that is by using insect repellent.

But what’s the right way to apply insect repellent? Don’t worry, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to help ensure that your repellent will be effective.


How Should You Apply Insect Repellent?

STEP 1: Find the right insect repellent! The CDC and EPA recommend using a repellent that is EPA-approved and contains one or more of the following ingredients: at least 20% DEET, 20% Picaridin, or 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus.

STEP 2: Make sure you read the label and follow all instructions carefully. Shake the container well before you use the repellent.

STEP 3: Holding the repellent 6 to 8 inches from the skin, spray it evenly over exposed skin. Spray over any clothing, and do not apply the repellent to the skin under your clothing. 

STEP 4: Spray the repellent onto your hands to apply to the face. Avoid the eyes, mouth, and nostrils.


When Should you Apply Insect Repellent for Mosquitoes?

To avoid mosquitoes, be sure to apply insect repellent when you will be outdoors for many hours, or when you will be travelling to a warm, humid climate. Some mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, but others will feed any time of the day.


When Should You Apply Insect Repellent for Ticks?

To avoid ticks, apply repellent before you will be in greenery where ticks live, such as wooded grassy areas, or while gardening or doing yard work. Remember to always walk in the center of a wooded trail to help avoid contact with ticks.


Other Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Reapply insect repellent as often as the label instructs.
  • Use sparingly around ears.
  • Apply over sunscreen!
  • Use as directed on children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. The CDC recommends not using repellent on children under two months old.

There you have it, a handy guide on the right way to apply insect repellent. As always, feel free to call Graduate Pest Solutions if you need a pest control expert or have a problem with any pesky pests this summer!

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