Insect bite prevention
Prevent insect bites to also prevent unpleasant infections.
Bug repellents containing DEET will keep bugs away, but can also cause toxic effects. Use carefully and read the instructions.
By preventing insect bites, from mosquitos and ticks, you are also preventing many possible infections such as:
Avoiding mosquito bites
- Wear clothing that covers up exposed skin.
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes when outdoors between dusk and dawn (dark colours attract mosquitos).
Screens and bed nets
- Sleep inside screened areas, under a mosquito net or in an air-conditioned room.
- Use bed nets that are rectangular in size, filled with permethrin, an insect repellent, every 6 months and tucked tightly under the mattress before dusk.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin when outdoors. Health Canada completes reviews of insect repellents that are registered in Canada, those containing DEET are the most effective.
- Use insect repellent with a 30% concentration of DEET. This should provide up to 6 hours of protection for adults.
- Wear light coloured clothing outdoors. It makes ticks easier to spot.
- Wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt.
- Wear closed footwear and socks, never sandals, when walking through fields or woods.
- Tuck your pants into your socks.
- Use a tick repellent containing DEET. Apply it to your skin and outer clothing.
- Put a tick and flea collar on your pets and check them periodically.
- Search your body well for ticks after walking through fields or woods. Pay special attention to areas such as the groin, scalp, and armpits.
- Insect repellent containing high concentrations of DEET can increase a person’s risk of experiencing toxic effects.
- Apply repellent only to exposed skin.
- Avoid applying repellents to parts of children’s hands that are likely to come in contact with their eyes or mouth.
- Never use repellents on wounds or irritated skin.
- Wash all areas of skin sprayed with insect repellent after you come indoors.
- In Canada, DEET products are not recommended for use on children less than 6 months of age.
This item was last modified on November 9, 2017