July 10th, 2009
Photo: CDC Public Health Image Library
By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now
Ahh, the sounds of summer. Birds chirping, food sizzling on the grill, the buzzing and buzzing and buzzing, the slapping, the spraying and, of course, the slamming of the back door as everyone races back inside.
Summer’s biggest bummer is that swarm of mosquitoes heading your way. As if their irritating blood-sucking isn’t bad enough, they can carry serious diseases.
Of the roughly 200 species of mosquitoes in the U.S., according to the fact-filled American Mosquito Control Association website, there are varieties that can transmit West Nile virus, malaria, dengue and Eastern Equine encephalitis.
There are lots of products on the market that promise to repel mosquitoes. The ones considered most effective, since 1957, contain the chemical DEET. It’s been approved by the EPA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control for use on anyone older than 2 months.