Avoid Mosquito Bites
to Avoid Infection
Human illness from West
Nile virus is rare, even in areas where the virus has been reported. The
chance that any one person is going to become ill from a mosquito bite
You can further reduce your chances of becoming
ill by protecting yourself from mosquito bites.
To avoid mosquito bites:
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide),
picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane or PMD) when you're
outdoors. DEET should be used with caution on children – DEET is not
recommended for the very young. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus
should not be used on the very young.
- When possible, wear long-sleeved clothes and
long pants treated with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since
mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing
permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there
is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your
- Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in
the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.
- Limit the number of places available for mosquitoes
to lay their eggs by eliminating standing water sources from around
Check to see if there is an organized mosquito control
program in your area. If no program exists, work with your local government
officials to establish a program. The American Mosquito Control Association
can provide advice, and their book Organization for Mosquito Control is
a useful reference. Another source of information about pesticides and
repellents is the National Pesticide Information Center, which also operates
a toll-free information line: 1-800-858-7378.