Picking the right bug spray and using it safely


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After a slow start to bug season, they’re certainly everywhere now.

The milder nights and warm humid days are bringing out the mosquitoes, gnats and flying ants, but you do have a defense.

Warmer temperatures, on and off rain showers and night time temperatures in the 50s are making this time of year prime time for various biting bugs.

Betty Burrage has tried to avoid bug spray, but feels it’s her only option.

“I’ve done the usual: wear long pants, long sleeves and that doesn’t seem to deter them, they find a way through so I’m looking for the heavy duty stuff now,” said Burrage from Agawam.

But you should know that not all insect repellants are the same.

You should make sure that the insect repellant that you’re buying contains the chemical “deet” which is what keeps the bugs away, but how much deet you need depends on what you’re doing.

Rob Russell is an entomologist with American Pest Solutions in Springfield.

He recommends using an insect repellant with a deet concentration of 5-15 percent, and only use more if you’re going into really heavily wooded areas.

Just make sure not to keep the bug spray it on your skin too long.

“It’s good to wash it off, because your body will absorb it and the less time it spends on your open skin the better,” said Russell.

Even a little deet goes a long way to deter bugs. The chemical blocks their ability to sense you and they just don’t like it.

You’re better off applying it on the outside of your clothes, making sure to avoid spraying it in your eyes.

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