Summer 2014 Health Link Online

HealthLink Online

Uniting Children, Parents, Caregivers, and Health Professionals

Bug Bite Prevention

Bug Bite Prevention



Summer is a time when many biting insects are most active. Mosquitoes, stinging insects and ticks are a problem. To minimize insect bites:

  • Avoid bright colored clothing.
  • Avoid any product that has an odor.
  • Avoid stagnant water.
  • Cover foods well.
  • Watch for places stinging insects seem to have nests. Stay far away from them or have a pest-control professional get rid of them.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET to prevent insect-borne illnesses.

Ticks spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease in most areas of the United States. Mosquitoes spread viruses such as the West Nile virus. The newly introduced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) started out as a viral disease of camels. Mosquito bites spread it to humans in the Middle East. Now infected travelers have started to bring the virus to other countries. The bites of local mosquitoes in these other countries can spread it.

Caring for Our Children 3rd edition, Standard says “Insect repellents may be used with children in child care in areas of the country due to specific disease outbreaks and alerts.” If a health professional recommends using a repellent, DEET should be used for everyone but infants younger than 2 months of age. Do not use sunscreen-DEET products. You need to apply sunscreen more often than insect repellent.