How to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases

You can prevent mosquito bites by covering up, going inside when the mosquitoes are out, and using insect repellant. You can cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and using mosquito netting if you are sitting or sleeping outside. EEE and West Nile are transmitted by mosquitoes that are active from dusk to dawn, so going inside in the evening and sleeping inside can reduce your exposure.

You can reduce your exposure to insect repellents by applying them to your clothing rather than your skin. The DPH recommend using a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus:

  • When used as directed on the product label, insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant women.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen prior to using repellent.
  • DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children.
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
  • Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.
  • More information on choosing and using repellents safely is included in the MDPH Mosquito Repellents fact sheet which can be viewed online at .


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