The first line of defense against mosquitos is to limit standing water around our own yards. The second is the use of repellents. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following:
1. DEET. It was started for the military in the 40’s and sold to the public since the 50’s. Scientists still do not know how it works. Found in many common repellents.
2. Picaridin. A pungent component of black pepper. Found in Cutter Advanced and Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus.
3. IR3535. Insect repellent made by Merck. Found in Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and Skin Smart.
4. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. This active ingredient is actually a synthetic version as the “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus has not been tested. Found in Repel and OFF! Botanicals
(Did You Know? The Zika virus can lead to birth defects but most commonly a rash and flu-like symptoms. See www.cdc.gov/zika/ for more information.)
Much like sunscreen, these products wear off so be sure to apply them regularly.
Other methods of combating insects such as food (garlic), vitamin B, or other things we ingest have no effect on insect bite prevention. In fact, some things like drinking alcohol may cause more heavily breathing which results in exhaling more carbon dioxide which attracts mosquitos.