Be safe from insects in recreation areas


Material Information

Be safe from insects in recreation areas
Series Title:
Home and garden bulletin ;
Physical Description:
6 p. : ; 23 cm.
Fluno, John A ( John Arthur ), 1914-
Weidhaas, Donald Edward, 1928-
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Insect pests -- Control   ( lcsh )
Insect baits and repellents   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
prepared by J.A. Fluno and D.E. Weidhaas.
General Note:
Cover title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004931184
oclc - 16734716
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


JAN 15 1975

I.F.A.S. Urniv. of Flo ri da

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Repellents _________________ 1

Materials to use _____________ ~__ 1

Howr to apply ______________ 2

Space Sprays __________________ 3

Precautions _______________ 4_

Other methods _______________ 4

For more information ___________ 5

Washington, D.C. Issued October 1972
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Offiee
Washington, D.C. 20402 Price 10 cents
Stock Number 0100-2511

Insect pests can spoil a hike,
i~cnic, camping trip, or other out-
r activity unless you take
asures to 'protect yourself
against them. In this bulletin,
you'll find information on repel-
lents, space sprays, and other
methods you can use to help pre-
vent insect annoyance.

Repellents are effective mn vary-
ing degrees against mosquitoes,
biting flies, gnats, chiggers, fleas,
and ticks. They are not effective
against wvasps, spiders, and scor-
Whenever you use a repellent,
be sure to follow the directions
carefully and need all precautions
on the label. Followv the same pre-
cautions as for pesticides, page 4.

Materials To Use

Materials used as repellents
11 into two general categories:
nzeral-use repellents, which may
applied to both skin and cloth-
ing; and repellents that may be
applied to clothing only.
General-use repellents contain
at least one of the following ac-
tive ingredients: deet, ethyl hex-

anedio1, dimethyl phthalate, di-
methyl carbate, or Indalone. They
are available under various brand
names, and the ingredients are
listed on the label. When deet is
an ingredient, it is sometimes
listed under its chemical name,
1You can purchase full-strength
ethyl hexanediol and dimethyl
phthalate, and a 50-percent solu-
tion of deet in alcohol from your
local druggist or supermarket.
Indalone is not widely available.
TChese repellents are also avail-
able in lower concentrations in
liquid form~, in pressurized cans
and ordinary bottles. Some may
be purchased as foams in pres-
surized cans. If y~ou choose a
liquid in a pressurized can, the
repellent will be easier to apply
if the container gives a coarse
spray rather than a fine spray.
Deet is the best repellent to use
for protection against most in-
sects. It is very effective for most
people. However, the effective-
ness of any repellents varies from.
person to person. Deet repels
more kinds of biting insects, ticks,
and mites than other repellents.
The general-use repellents lose
their effectiveness whLen the sur-


Prepar~ed by J. A. Flluno 3 anld D. E. Weidhuas, Enrtomologists, Southern Region,
Agricultural Research Service.

face to which they are applied be-
comes wret or is washed.
Although general-use repellents
are safe to use on your skin, as
directed, you should never take
them internally.
Benzyl benzoate may be applied
to your clothing only, to control
some kinds of insects. It is gen-
erally available from local drug-
gists. ~Never apply benzyl ben-
zoate to your skin.
Repellents dissolve or stain some
kinds of paints and plastics--for
example, plastic lenses of glasses,
fingernail polish, synthetic hnair-
pieces, painted or varnished sur-
faces (such as an automobile
body), and some kinds of rayon
fabric. Plastic fountain pens and
plastic watch crystals are partic-
ularly subject to damage. Of th~e
general-use repellents, dimethyl
phthalate is usually the most dam-
aging. Ethyl hexanedio1 and deet
cause less damage to painted sur-
faces than the other repellents,
and usually cause no appreciable
damage to most plastics.
Repellents will not damage ny-
lon, polyester, acrylic, all-cotton,
or all-wool cloth, but may cause
temporary stains.

Howv To Apply

For mosquitoes, biting /lies,
a~nd gnats

You can apply any of the
general-use repellents listed on
page 1 for protection against
mosquitoes, biting flies, and gnats.

Appi~lica~tion to~ skcin.-T~o pro-
tect your skin, shake or spray a
few drops of repellent from the
bottle or pressurized can, onto
your palms, and rub them to-
gether. Apply the repellent thor-
oughl~y to the backs of your hands
and to your wrists, neck, ears,
face, and other exposed skin, as
if you were washing yourself; do
not apply it close to your eyes oE
lips. To help prevent the repelle~
from getting in your eyes, do
apply too much of it on your
Use enough repellent to make
an even film over your skin; the
insects will quickly find and bite
untreated spots.
Repellent is easier to apply
if you spray it directly from, a
pressurized can onto your skin
and clothing; however, you are
more likely to waste the repellent,
and it is apt to come in contact
with materials that are suscep-
tible to damage.
If you get the repellent on the
muucous membranes, or on tender
skin, such as that on the eyelids,
it will cause stinging. If the re-
pellent gets in your eyes, it will
cause severe but temporary sting-
Most repellents feel greasy o
the skin. Treated skin sometime
feels warm for a few minus
after you apply the repellent
This is normal and only tempo-
This treatment wvill give pro-
tection for 2 or more hours.
Applica~tion to clothing. To
apply repellent to your clothing,
shake or spray about a dozen

drops onto your palms, rub your
palms together, and rub lightly
on your socks, shirt, trousers, or
other outer clothing. Or, if your
prefer, apply a light spray to
areas of yrour clothing through
which the insects bite. This treat-
ment will give protection for sev-
eral days, unless the clothing is
washed or dipped in water.

To protect yourself against
chiggers, apply repellent to your
clothing and to exposed skin, on
your arms anzd legs. The repellent
does more than keep chiggers
from biting; it kills them.
Barrier m~zethod.-T~he simplest
way to apply repellent for chig-
gers is in a spray that contains
a general-use repellent.
You canl protect yourself from
chiggers b~y spraying the repellent
on the top of your socks, and on
the bottom of your trousers. This
treatment is effective only if there
are no high weeds, or if you are
not sitting or lying on the ground,
or sitting on a log.
Otherwise, apply the repellent
to your arms and legs, if they are
not covered, and to all openings
in your clothing-those that are
'buttoned, zippered, or otherwise
fastened; the cuffs and waistband
of trousers or slacks; the cuffs
(or armholes) and neckband of
blouses or shirts; the hemn and
waistband of skirts; the neckline,
hemn, and cuffs, sleeve hems, or
armholes of dresses; and on your
socks or stockings, both above and
below the tops of your shoes.

For Ileas

Deet is the most effective re-
pellent to use against fleas. Apply
it to exposed skin, as for mosqui-
toes (p. 2), and to your clothing
by the spraying method (p. 3).
Deet remains effective on clothing
for a week or more.
You can also protect yourself
against fleas if you smear or
spray deet on. your sockrs and the
legs of your trousers.

For ticks

The following repellents are the
best ones to use against ticks, mn
the order of decreasing eflFective-
ness: Indalone, deet, dimnethyl
carbate, and dimethyl phthalate.
You may apply them to your
clothing, as you do for mosquitoes
(p. 3). None of these repellents
provides complete protection
against ticks.

You can reduce the number of
flies, mosquitoes, and gnats in the
air if you use an insecticide space
spray. Some of these sprays comne
in ready-to-use pressurized cans.
Others must be applied with a
hand sprayer that produces a fine
Space sprays usually remain
effective for at least 30 minutes,
and, if the insects are not mi-
grating, effectiveness mayr last as
long as several hours.
Space sprays are clearly labeled
for use against flying insects.
Followv the directions and heed all
precautions on the labels.

TIo use a space spray inside a
tent, automobile, or trailer, spray
for only a fewl seconds.
To treat a small outdoor area,
such as a small yard or picnic spot,
apply the spray upwind of the
site. As yrou apply it, walk slowly
across thre upwind side of the area
you wish to treat. If you use a
pressurized can, hold it upright
and as close to the ground as pos-
sible; if you use a hand sprayer,
hold it about 3 feet above the
ground. Cover food, drinking
water, and cooking and eating
utensils before you apply a spray,
to prevent then from becoming
contaminated. Do not apply a
space spray directly onto trees,
shrubs, and other desirable
plants; sprays contain oil, which.
can damage the plants. Never
apply insecticide to your skin or


Pesticides used improperly can
be injurious to man, animals, and
plants. Follow the directions and
heed all precautions on the labels.
Store pesticides in original con_
tainers-out of reach. of children
and pets--and away from food-
Apply pesticides selectively and
carefully. Avoid prolonged in-
halation of a pesticide spra~y.
After handling a pesticide, do
not eat, drink, or smoke until yrou
have washed. In case a pesticide
is swallowed or gets in the eyes,
follow any first aid treatment that
is shown on the label, and get
prompt medical attention.

Dispose of empty pesticide con-
tainers by wrapping them. in. sev-
eral layers of newspaper and
placing them in your trash can.
It is difficult to remove all
traces of any insecticide from. a
sprayer. Therefore, to prevent
harmful exposure to insecticides,
do not apply repellent sprays with
equipment previously used for an
NOTE:: Some States have re-
strictions on the use of certain
pesticides. Check your State and
local regulations.


Do not overlook, mechanical
methods of protecting yourself
from insects. When you are camp-
ing, make sure all of the windows
in your tent are screened. Use a
bed net if you are sleeping in the
open. To keep scorpions or spiders
out of your tent, make sure the
floor is tightly fastened to the
Where ticks are a problem,
wear slacks or long trousers and
tuck them? into the tops of your
socks or boots.
To keep insects from landing
on food, cover open food dishes
with a small fine-mesh net.
Practice sanitation. A clean
campsite or picnic area is less
likely to attract most kinds of
insects than a littered area.
Before you pitch a tent, clear
the area of dead leaves, twvigs, and
loose stones. If possible, do not
camp near rockpiles or fallen
trees; scorpions and spiders often.

hide in such places. In areas
where scorpions are a problem,
look: for them inside your shoes,
before you put your shoes on each
TPhere is little you can do to
get rid of yellow jackets that come
around when you are picnicking_ -
except move to another area. On
your own property, you may
spray their nests with insecticide,
ut on public or private park land
~this should be done only by a
ranger or other responsible per-

If you A re Bitten .
If you are in an area where
there are many insects, you are
likely to receive a few bites, even
if you protect yourself with in-
sect repellent or a space spray.
If you are bitten, do not scratch
the bites; this can. break the skin
and invite infection.
After you have been in an area
infested by chiggers, take a hot,
soapy bath as soon as possible.
If you can do this within an hour,
you can kill most of the chiggers
before they attach themselves to
your skin.
Sunburn relief products and
other local anesthetics that con-
)tain benzocaine (ethyl amino-
,benzoate) can help alleviate itch-
ing and mlild pain. They are avail-
able in drug stores as ointments
and pressurized sprays. It is a
good idea to include one in a first
aid kit for camping and other
outdoor activities.
Although most insect bites are
annoying, cause itching, or are

moderately painful, some can.
cause serious illness and severe
allergic reactions in certain sensi-
tive people. If you feel dizzy,
nauseated, or feverish after hav-
ing been bitten. byr an insect, or
if intense pain lasts more than a
few seconds, get medical attention
as soon as possible. Consult your
doctor if you have ever experi-
enced an allergic reaction follow-
ing an insect bite.


You will find detailed informa-
tion on control of some of the
insect pests discussed in this Bul-
letin in the following publica-
tions :
H-G 84, "Controlling Mosqui-
toes in Your Hom~e and on Your
]Premises" ;
H-G 121, "Controlling Fleas";
H-G 122, "Controlling Wasps";
HG 13T7, "Controlling Chig-
To obtain single free copies,
send your request on, a post card
to: Office of Information, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Wash-
ington, D.C. 20250. Please include
your ZIP code number in your
return address.
Some of the repellents men-
tioned in this bulletin may not be
available in your local stores. If
you cannot find a repellent lo-
cally, the Agricultural Research
Service, Beltsville, Md. 20705, can
give you a list of national sup-
pliers. When you send your re-
quest, be sure to include your


Prepared by
Agricultural Research Service



3 1262 08582 9215
IZIP code number in your return product by the U.S. Department
address. of Agriculture and does not imply
Mention of a proprietary prod- its approval by the D~epartment
uct in this publication is not a to the exclusion of other products
guarantee or warranty of the that may also be suitable.

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