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Mosquito 101

Jul 18, 2008
Mosquitoes are out in force once again, and many consumers are faced with the difficult task of choosing the right insect repellent for their particular needs.

Will you be going hunting, fishing or camping anytime soon?

Do you live in a wooded area or somewhere near a lake or stream?

Do you have standing water on or around your property?

Are you flying to your final destination and can?t pack a liquid repellent in your luggage?

And, probably the most important question of all, do you have children that you must also consider?

I've found that in most cases, DEET, however successful it may have proven in the past, is overkill when it comes to keeping mosquitoes away. Yes, it is a proven method of repelling, but it is also a chemical that has proven to be dangerous and destructive on many levels. DEET is not only known for causing a number of health issues with the young and old, but it also has a reputation for melting buttons on clothing, watch faces and straps, fishing gear, golf grips and just about anything it comes into contact with. In fact, I once watched a girl hold a can of Coke after spreading DEET on her legs, and the red paint from the Coke can came right off on her hands!! Now that?s something to think about when you are about to put it on your skin!

There are a growing number of viable NATURAL and NON-LIQUID alternatives on the market that do just as good a job as DEET without any of the side effects or risk of damaging your favorite clothing and other gear.

This season, I took a personal interest in researching and testing a couple of these and looking very carefully at the testing associated with one particular product called Bug Bam (http://www.bugbam.com). Unfortunately I couldn?t get my hands on testing for the other products I was interested in, but Bug Bam was very transparent in providing me with their testing data, and I must say, it is very impressive.

To preface how Bug Bam works, let me explain the methods a mosquito uses to find us.

Mosquitoes analyze around 300 different scents that come off each of our bodies. From carbon dioxide to lactic acid, they can detect these scents up to 100 feet away and, as they come closer, they actually begin smelling our very skin. As each person smells differently, some people are more appealing to mosquitoes than others, but overall, mosquitoes are after our protein (blood), which they use to lay their eggs. And mosquitoes don?t actually bite, they have a long ?proboscus?, or needle nose, which they use to pierce the skin and ?suck? our blood.

DEET works by blocking the pores of our skin to prevent mosquitoes from finding us. Without fail, the DEET then goes into our bloodstream and, if used to often or too much, can seriously affect our health causing issues such as brain damage and sometimes even death.

Natural products-such as Bug Bam - work by releasing a scent that masks the wearers own scent from a mosquito. The mosquito smells the scent of the Bug Bam rather than the scent of a human, and goes elsewhere to find its food.

Female mosquitoes are the only ones that seek blood. Males (the larger mosquitoes we all see) only eat nectar from flowers.

The Bug Bam range has been proven by one of the foremost environmental research labs in the USA to repel for up to 100 hours, and the products range from wristbands (for personal use) to grids, which protect multiple people in an area up to 300 sq. ft. None of the Bug Bam products require the use of sprays, lotions, batteries, smoke, flames or power of any kind (however I did notice a fan, but have not had the chance to test it as yet).

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the Bug Bam range of products are waterproof and sweat-proof and contain ingredients and materials that are EPA approved and FDA approved as food grade. So there?s nothing to worry about if little Johnny decides he wants to swim with his Bug Bam or likes to chew on his cool new wristband.

So there you have it. Play it safe AND smart this bug season. If you really feel that nothing works for you as well as DEET, go right ahead. It IS the Gold Standard (whatever that means). But if you?re the type who wants to look after their health and well being, then a product like Bug Bam will do the job just as well.
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Before you buy anything online, make sure you check out this all natural mosquito repellent
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