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  • Why should I use insect repellent?

    insectrepellents-animatedInsect repellents can help reduce exposure to mosquitoes that may transmit disease such as Zika Virus, West Nile virus and EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis). These diseases can cause serious illness and even death. Using insect repellent allows you to continue to play and work outdoors with a reduced risk of mosquito bites.

    Learn more: read DEET?. &  The CDC says to use insect repellent

    The Centers for Disease Control has additional information available.

    When should I use mosquito repellent?
    If you are travelling, consult the State Department and CDC warnings for areas of concern for Zika, Dengue, West Nile, and other Mosquito-borne diseases. Apply repellent when you are going to be outdoors. Even if you don't notice mosquitoes there is a good chance that they are around. Many of the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus bite between dusk and dawn. If you are outdoors around these times of the day, it is especially important to apply repellent. In many parts of the country, there are mosquitoes that also bite during the day, and some of these mosquitoes have also been found to carry West Nile virus. (CDC)

  • 5 Things You Really Need to Know About Zika

    Outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and most recently in the Americas. Because the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will continue to spread. According to the CDC; here are 5 things that you really need to know about the Zika virus.

    Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

    Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. To date, there have been no reports of Zika being spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, cases have been reported in travelers to the United States. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase.

    These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. The mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

    The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.

    Protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.  Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

    Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.Zika_prevent-mosquito-bites

    Learn more about DEET & Picaridin.

    Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs. Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.

    Read more about how to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

    Infection with Zika during pregnancy may be linked to birth defects in babies.

    Waiting for a baby. Close-up of young pregnant woman touching her abdomen while sitting on the couchZika virus can pass from a mother to the fetus during pregnancy, but we are unsure of how often this occurs. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly (a birth defect in which the size of a baby’s head is smaller than expected for age and sex) in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Additional studies are needed to determine the degree to which Zika is linked with microcephaly. More lab testing and other studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

    We expect that the course of Zika virus disease in pregnant women is similar to that in the general population. No evidence exists to suggest that pregnant women are more susceptible or experience more severe disease during pregnancy.

    Because of the possible association between Zika infection and microcephaly, pregnant women should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

    Pregnant women should delay travel to areas where Zika is spreading.

    Until more is known, CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

    If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to an area where Zika is spreading, either do not have sex or use condoms the right way every time during your pregnancy.

    For women trying to get pregnant, before you or your male partner travel, talk to your healthcare provider about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection. You and your male partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

    Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites.

    Man using insect repellantDuring the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. The infected mosquito must live long enough for the virus to multiply and for the mosquito to bite another person.

    Protect your family, friends, neighbors, and community! If you have traveled to a country where Zika has been found, make sure you take the same measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites at home as you would while traveling. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants , use insect repellant, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

    For more information on the Zika virus, read Zikaand for the latest updates, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.

  • DEET?

    mosquitoes_infographic_lgWith the current Zika Scare we are getting a lot of questions about Mosquitoes... What is best? What about Deet? What is Permethrin?

    Simple answer is that DEET is the most effective mosquito and insect repellent, and while many think it is dangerous because is it petroleum based, it is one of the most aggressively tested products by the EPA and FDA, and after decades is still strongly recommended by the CDC for avoiding mosquito-borne viruses, and is still registered by the EPA as an effective insect repellent.

    This is not to say that other chemical and even natural  insect repellents are not effective - many are... just make sure they have passed FDA and EPA scrutiny.

    The CDC says to use insect repellent, and Consumer Reports Recommends Natrapel Three Years in a Row!

    Now what about Permethrin? Many mothers have heard of permethrin as a lice treatment. It's also great for treating clothing... this can keep the mosquitoes from ever coming into contact with your skin at all. Cool.

    Insect Repellent & Sting Relief Products

    BUGXOur Huge selection Bugs the competitors - First Aid Store offers Name Brand Insect Repellant in Relief Pads & Repellent Pumps. Wasp & Hornet Spray, Bite Relief with Applicator & Repellent Towelettes. Ben's Outdoor, DEET, Natrapel with Permathrin - After Bite and more!

  • Zika

    So - what's the deal with Zika Virus?

    • MOSQNo vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
    • Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
    • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
    • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
    Our Huge selection Bugs the competitors - First Aid Store offers Name Brand Insect Repellant in Relief Pads & Repellent Pumps. Wasp & Hornet Spray, Bite Relief with Applicator & Repellent Towelettes. Ben's Outdoor, DEET, Natrapel with Permathrin - After Bite and more!
  • Tell those insects to buzz off

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  • Consumer Reports Recommends Natrapel Three Years in a Row!

    It is bug season - the CDC recommends Picaridin, and Consumer Reports recommends Natrapel with Picaridin!

    It's about time - a DEET-free insect repellent that really works! Natrapel 8-hour provides 8+ hours of protection from biting insects and ticks, thanks to its CDC-recommended 20 percent Picaridin formula. Unlike ineffective DEET alternatives, Picaridin is the only formula that consistently shows equal or better performance than DEET in independent, clinical tests. Even better, Natrapel 8-hour is completely safe on gear and will not melt jackets, fishing line, and other synthetic materials. It's about time - a DEET-free insect repellent that really works! Natrapel 8-hour provides 8+ hours of protection from biting insects and ticks, thanks to its CDC-recommended 20 percent Picaridin formula. Unlike ineffective DEET alternatives, Picaridin is the only formula that consistently shows equal or better performance than DEET in independent, clinical tests. Even better, Natrapel 8-hour is completely safe on gear and will not melt jackets, fishing line, and other synthetic materials.

    Read more:

  • Bugs and Heat - Where's the Relief?

    It hasn't cooled down. Humidity is way up this year as well. Heat related illnesses and Insect Bite concerns are growing in areas where it was never much of a concern previously (as well as those where it was.) While summer nights may bring lightning bugs and fun - these sultry evenings, and even daytime heat and humidity bring dangers and discomfort from biting insects as well.

    Experts with North Carolina's Department Of Entomology said insects aren't just arriving earlier this year, but in greater numbers. Roaches, mosquitoes, ants and spiders are just a few pests that make their debut when the weather heats up.

    Summertime brings heat, humidity and the creepy crawlers

    Researchers said there are at least 60 different species of mosquitoes to worry about. And problems normally associated with the coast are being felt by residents inland.

    IBugListnsects, like ourselves, are responsive to many stimuli in their surroundings, such as light, heat, touch, chemicals, and vibrations. They have a variety of receptors which, when stimulated, pass information in the form of nervous signals to the central nervous system of the insect. The number of signals that are sent will depend on how strongly the receptor is stimulated and for how long, and the actions of the insect will vary accordingly.

    "If I go out especially early morning, late afternoon I get them real bad, when they bite me it's vicious," said Margaret Rush, a resident in Salisbury.

    She said she’s lived at her home there for more than a decade, but this year she's seeing more mosquitoes than usual.

    "Very, very excessive," said Rush.

    insectrepellents-animated"Mosquitoes are becoming a serious problem for a lot of people," said Darrell Blackwelder, North Carolina’s Cooperative Extension Director for Rowan County.

    He said excessive heat early on this summer combined now with high humidity is breeding more bugs.

    Often on a hot day one is aware that it is also muggy. Insects, too, are receptive to both humidity and temperature. It is probable that the receptors in the human body louse, Pediculus, are tufts of specialized hairs, and hairs of various kinds are thought to be humidity receptors. At present it is not known if the receptors are stimulated by changes in the suppleness of the cuticle or whether they are directly receptive to water vapor.

    Very few heat receptors have been identified positively. Some blood-sucking insects (e.g., mosquitoes) are known to locate warm-blooded prey by detecting the heat that their bodies produce though the receptors have not been isolated.

    "We usually have a little bit of dryness between them, but with the continued wet weather almost on a daily basis, it's giving a really good medium for mosquitoes," said Blackwelder.

    He said mosquitoes can breed in less than an inch of water and very quickly.

    "Birdbaths such as this, gutters, pots standing with water if you've got flower pots," he said. He added that repellents can work, but only temporarily. He said the best preventive measure is to flush out bird baths and other stagnant water around your home.

    That’s something Rush said she does weekly with several plants and fountains at her home, but gutters are more difficult.

    "When it rains, if there's any debris or anything in there of course the mosquitoes can't get there and I can't get up there to stop them immediately," said Rush.

    And it's not just mosquitoes, excessive heat can also make bees more aggressive.

    "They can spring up anywhere in the lawn area, in the soil, and you're not even aware of it, some of the yellow jackets can build as quickly as a nest, with a week or so," said Blackwelder.

    He said the high humidity and mosquitoes are usually a problem associated with the coast, that's now affecting much of the state.

    "I'm just trying to deal with it, doesn't seem to be anything I can do with it," said Rush.

    Experts advise anyone allergic to insect stings should always carry an epi-pen and take extra precautions to avoid those insects.

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  • Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus - Chikungunya in USA

    We told you about Killer Mosquitoes in a previous post. Now the CDC has announced that Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are apparently here in the US. The mosquitoes carry and transmit chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease.

    Chikungunya, causes Fever and Joint Pain - Other symptoms can include muscle aches, headaches, joint swelling or rash. This virus is not spread person to person. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection.

    insectrepellents-animatedThe best way to protect yourself and your family from chikungunya is to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, using air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside, and reducing mosquito breeding ground such as standing water.

    Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are found in the southeastern United States and limited parts of the Southwest; Aedes albopictus is also found further north up the East Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic States, and is also found in the lower Midwest.

    The first locally acquired case of chikungunya was reported July 17th in Florida. This newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler. Although CDC does not expect widespread cases of chikungunya in the United States this summer, American travelers infected overseas may continue to return and bring the virus with them.

    CHIKUNGUNYA: What is an imported case? View Infographic Adobe PDF file

    CHIKUNGUNYA: What is local transmission? View Infographic Adobe PDF file

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  • West Nile Virus: Spray Before You Work or Play

    Mosquito-Transmitted Diseases

    There are a variety of diseases that may be spread by mosquitoes.

    The number of mosquitoes that are actually capable of causing infection in humans is relatively small, but it is always advisable to take preventive measures to protect yourself.

    We have talked about West Nile Virus, and covered many Frequently asked Questions about WNV - you know there is no cure for West Nile - only prevention. Besides WNV, Mosquitoes may infect you with Yellow Fever, Dengue, Encephalitis, and even Malaria.

    insectrepellents-animatedMost mosquito bites do not result in disease, but it is a good idea to recognize and watch for the early symptoms of some of the more commonly encountered mosquito-transmitted diseases.

    • West Nile Virus (WNV)
      West Nile virus is a disease transmitted to people, horses, and birds. It is the most commonly reported mosquito-transmitted disease in Minnesota. Most people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms or flu-like symptoms, but some (primarily elderly) have more severe illness.
    • La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC)
      La Crosse encephalitis is a viral disease that is transmitted by the Tree Hole mosquito.
    • Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV)
      Jamestown Canyon virus, which is transmitted by several different species of mosquitoes,  is a rarely reported cause of illness in humans with only two cases being reported in Minnesota since 2002 (single cases in 2002 and 2013).
    • Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)
      Western Equine Encephalitis is a disease transmitted to people, horses, and birds. It is caused by a virus that is transmitted by the same mosquito species that commonly transmits WNV in western Minnesota. During 1941, there was a large regional outbreak of Western equine encephalitis. There may have been as many as 791 cases in Minnesota that year with 90 deaths. In more recent years, Minnesota has had infrequent and smaller outbreaks of WEE (15 human cases in 1975, single cases in 1983 and 1999).
    • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
      Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Many people infected with EEE virus show no symptoms but some (primarily children) have severe illness.
    • St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
      CDC; Cases of St. Louis encephalitis are usually the result of unpredictable and intermittent localized epidemics. SLE has not been reported in Minnesota since the 1970’s.
    • Malaria (Read more below!)
      CDC; Malaria is still a public health concern in North America  even though local exposure to the disease hasn’t occurred in nearly 100 years. People who travel to or have lived in other areas of the world may be at risk and should be familiar with the symptoms of the disease and the medications used to prevent infection.
    • Dengue
      CDC; Dengue fever is primarily a tropical disease and rarely occurs within the continental United States.  In recent years, Dengue has occurred in southern states, including Texas and Florida. People who travel to or have lived in other areas of the world may be at risk and should be familiar with the symptoms of disease as well as preventive measures used to avoid mosquito bites.
    • Chikungunya
      CDC; Chikungunya fever is a viral illness not currently found in the United States.  The virus is primarily found in Africa and Asia yet was found in 2013 for the first time on the Caribbean islands.  People who travel to or have lived in at-risk areas may be at risk and should be familiar with the symptoms of disease as well as preventive measures used to avoid mosquito bites.
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    Learn about 30 DEET Spray:

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    Learn about Spray for your clothing and Gear to keep Mosquitoes Away:

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    Get Serious with 100 DEET Spray:

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    Download the FREE Posterspray

    READ MORE Malaria - The Scourge of Africa, but found in the US, too

  • Malaria - The Scourge of Africa, but found in the US, too!

    Malaria is a disease that travelers have at the very least a basic knowledge of, nonetheless an overwhelming amount of them fail to comprehend the major facts concerning the illness. The age-old idea of "Ah, it will never ever happen to me" is still extremely widespread among our generation.

    Malaria is a threat in over 100 countries, generally in tropical areas of the globe consisting of big parts of Africa and Asia, Central and South America and odd bits of the South Pacific. It just takes a solitary mosquito bite for someone to be infected.

    Malaria Cases in U.S. Hit 40-Year High -

    Photo: Couple and child travelingIncreasing numbers of malaria cases reported in the U.S. serve as a reminder to travelers to countries with malaria: think ahead and take steps to protect yourself from this potentially fatal, but preventable disease.

    CDC's latest malaria surveillance summary report shows that approximately 2,000 cases of malaria were diagnosed and treated in the United States in 2011—almost all were acquired overseas in regions with malaria transmission. This is the largest number reported since 1971. Among the people who had malaria five died.

    Every year, millions of U.S. residents travel to countries where malaria is transmitted. Most travelers who contract malaria either did not take an antimalarial drug to prevent the illness or did not take the appropriate drug or dose.

    Most of the cases were in people who had been in sub-Saharan Africa.  Although India is often perceived as a place with low risk of malaria for travelers, for the first time, it is the individual country from which the most cases were imported into the United States. However, all travelers to countries where malaria is present may be at risk for infection.

    In 2013 more than 1,500 tourists were diagnosed with malaria in the UK after returning from a malarial area, seven of these cases were unfortunately fatal. With these kinds of statistics it's practically unbelievable that such a risk is taken, specifically when knowingly travelling to a region that is affected by malaria. The 2013 statistics show that of 1,501 cases of malaria recorded in the UK, 1,233 of those people had visited Africa. Incidentally, 40% of those reported cases were people who had been visiting family in their country of origin.

    The value of taking preventative measures against malaria should go without saying. It's just as straight-forward as the choice of leaving the house by the front door or the upstairs bedroom window; fundamental common sense must reign supreme. Yet still, due to numerous misconceptions, tourists do not take sufficient precautions against malaria.

    insectrepellents-animatedTravelers commonly neglect the hazard that malaria presents, even when they are taking a trip to or via 'malarial hot-spots'. It is not unusual for a tourist from the UK to believe that the anti-malaria drugs have numerous negative side effects and that they are only going to be in a malarial hot-spot briefly. The honest truth is that the chances of contracting the disease are considerably increased for travelers from the UK who haven't built up any immunity to it and in truth no-side effect, expense consideration or trouble is worth the risk of getting malaria.

    In order to safeguard yourself from malaria whilst travelling it is necessary to follow the ABCD method;.

    A = Awareness:

    Discover whether there's a threat of getting malaria prior to leaving on a trip. It is important to discover whether you will be travelling to or through a malarial hot-spot. Know where you plan to go and do some studying on the presence of malaria in the area that you intend to visit. Some countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are clear of malaria in some locations, yet in various other areas malaria safety measures are crucial.

    B = Bite Prevention:

    Take actions to avoid mosquito bites by:

    - Using bug spray and re-apply frequently. The most effective repellents have a high concentration of DEET.
    - Keeping doors and windows shut in sleeping locations after dusk.
    - Ideally lodging someplace with air conditioning and keeping it on in the evening, additionally sleeping under a mosquito net.

    C = Check:

    Taking anti-malaria tablets will significantly decrease the risk of contracting malaria. It is essential to figure out which medication is most reliable for you and if that drug is suited to the region you are travelling to.

    Make certain that you comply with the guidelines supplied with the anti-malaria pills, take the correct dose, remember to start taking them before you start your trip and always complete the course.

    image of a travel first aid kit in a green bag Nothing can spoil a great vacation like an injury. Be prepared to deal with mishaps on the abroad and away from home with these first aid kits designed specifically for traveling and travelers!

    There are 3 main options of anti-malaria tablets offered, your Doctor should suggest the most effective for you, but make certain that you consult them at least 4 weeks prior to travelling.

    D = Diagnosis:

    If you have actually traveled to a malarial 'hot-spot' and subsequently start to establish symptoms of malaria, as an example; a high temperature, vomiting or chills and sweats then you need to look for prompt medical recommendations. Keep in mind that if the symptoms present themselves within seven days of arriving in a malarial region then it's not malaria given that it takes a minimum of 7 days for malaria to appear following a bite from a malaria infested mosquito.

    Remember also that malaria can lay dormant in the human body for up to twelve months, so even though you're safely back home in the UK you should seek urgent medical attention should you begin to suffer any of the recognized symptoms within twelve months of your return. Malaria can develop extremely rapidly following recognition of the first symptoms, so it's vital if you think there is the slightest chance that you could possibly have gotten it, that it is detected and treated as quickly as possible.

    Do not let malaria to destroy your journeys, make sure that you research your destination very carefully before taking a trip and take necessary preventative measures. Know Before You Go.

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