Mosquitoes can ruin your time outdoors in Alabama. With warm summers and wet springs, mosquitoes often thrive in Alabama during the summer and early fall. There is no way to avoid this fact, but it can be mitigated with mosquito repellent. However, with so many choices on the market, how do you know which repellent is right for your family? Let this handy guide help you make your decision.
1. Active Mosquito Repellent Ingredients
DEET was one of the first mosquito repellents to be widely sold. Even with advances in technology, DEET-based products are still the most effective choice for keeping these pests at bay. While scientific testing has shown DEET to be safe for adults and children, some people still have their reservations. Picaridin is another modern alternative. For families that prefer fewer chemicals, some essential oils are thought to be an option as well. While these products have fewer chemicals to irritate the skin, they still do not match the effectiveness of DEET. The main thing to be careful of when using DEET is to avoid contact with the eyes. That is why children are advised not to spray themselves. Such application should be done by a responsible adult.
2. Targeted Pests
Some repellents are designed specifically for mosquitoes. Others are designed to keep ticks at bay as well. If you are just going outside for some evening activities, then mosquito repellent alone is probably enough. However, if you are planning on spending time in the woods or near a water source, then you should consider a repellent that is more comprehensive. After all, mosquitoes are mostly annoying. Ticks are far more dangerous in terms of disease.
If you are only going to be outside for an hour or two, then you do not need a powerful repellent. However, for any extended outdoor activities, you should look carefully at how long your repellent can provide protection. Repellents that are designed to last most of the day are far more convenient in these contexts. In any case, it is wise to keep your repellent nearby during outdoor activities in order to reapply when necessary.
4. Application Method
The majority of repellents are aerosol sprays. This allows for effective coverage all over the body. Lotions are much harder to spread around effectively, and other options like bracelets, candles or torches only offer a limited range of protection. Candles can be a good choice for a backyard barbecue, but a spray is going to be the best way to protect your family when moving around outside in the evening.