New weapons in battle with bugs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New weapons in battle with bugs

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July 20, 2005

Albany- Combine South Georgia's typical summer heat with recent heavy rain and you get a full blown battle with bugs.

The CDC recommends several options when it comes to protecting yourself from mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus. While insect repellents with DEET are recommended they also recommend Cutter Advanced.

"Vicious mosquitoes, they're real tiny and they really get you, you walk out in the backyard and they're all over you," said camper Larry Todd of Tallahassee, Fl.

But what's the best way to fight back and keep your kids safe? There are several new products from a company called "Bug Band", it's a wristband and wipe for kids.

"The wristbands have, no DEET, they're safe, if a kid would get it in his mouth, it wouldn't hurt him, it's just a safe product," said Chip Willingham, Purchasing Agent, American Outdoor Adventure.

For active kids who may sweat off a spray, they seem to work. "One of my kids is allergic to mosquito bites and he wears one on his arm and one on his leg when he's outside. It doesn't stop them but it definitely helps." said Willingham.

If the bug band doesn't work, many hunters swear by the Thermacel. "It puts off a smoke that you can't really smell and the bugs, any bug, yellow flies, mosquitos, gnats, they stay away from it," said Willingham.

Experts say, the best thing may be the old standby, insect repellent. It should be applied every two to six hours while you're outside.

"All these agents, all they do is mask the human odor so that mosquitos don't smell you," said Thomas McSwain, Pharmacist, Davis Drug Co.

But should you buy a product with DEET, and is it safe for kids? Pharmacists say, yes.

"DEET in the past a lot of people were scared they thought it was dangerous," said McSwain.

So whether you choose a wrist band, or traditional bug spray the battle will continue.

The wrist bands and wipes are moderately priced, the wipes about a dollar and the wrist bands about five dollars. The the bands last for about 4 to 5 days if you keep them in a resealable container.

When choosing an insect repellent, base your pick on how long you plan to be outdoors. Most basic products that contain 10 percent DEET last for two to three hours.

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