As the cool days of mid-spring drift by, other creatures come out to play - insects.
You know. Those nasty, biting critters that make a mess out of every picnic or outing you try to have. While gnats and flies can be annoying, it's mosquitoes a person has to be wary of, with the threat of West Nile.
So which mosquito repellents work best?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, products with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some of the lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products give longer protection.
As always, follow label directions. And avoid putting repellents on cuts or wounds. You certainly don't want to put repellents in your eyes or mouth, and avoid spraying directly on your face. Spray your hands first and then apply to your face.
Keep repellents from children. Apply them to children yourself. Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing, and after coming indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
If you or your child get a rash or other reaction from a repellent, stop using it and wash it off with mild soap and water and contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Just some tips. Products with lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three. Repellents may be used by pregnant or nursing women.
Repellents and sunscreens can be used at the same time, but it is not recommended to use a single product that combines insect repellent containing DEET and sunscreen because repellent usually does not need to be reapplied as often as sunscreen.
So when you set off on that hike, picnic or vacation, make sure you take a repellent with you.
After all, you don't want to invite any unwanted guests.