Which mosquito repellent works?

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - They bite. We itch. It's that time of year for mosquitoes, but how do you know which repellentwill work?

Diethyl toluamide, piperidinecarboxylic acid and IR-3535 may sound like gibberish but these ingredients keep pests from biting you.

The District Health Director for the Columbus Health Department, Dr. Zsolt Koppanyi told News Leader Nine, "You really want to make sure that you don't get bitten. It's the most important message."

When spraying children, some people think the more, the better. But that could end up doing more harm than good.

"Some people think one big sweep of the really potent spray on children is going to do the trick, but what you ought to do it apply it several times with a smaller concentration," said Koppanyi.

Much like sunscreen, many think you should put on the bug spray before you put on the clothes, but Dr. Koppanyi says you should get dressed then get out the spray, "When you apply it, don't put a long sleeve short on afterwards. Make sure you put the clothes on first and then apply the spray on top of that."

And when you're trying to decide between DEET, Picaridan or natural ingredients Dr. Koppanyi says, "The gold standard is DEET".

It may seem impossible to completely avoid mosquitoes, but if you eliminate standing water around your home, use citronella candles and stock up on some spray, it will be easier to protect you and your family from bug bites.