SOURCE: Cutter

May 31, 2012 05:00 ET

Keeping Bugs at Bay

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - May 31, 2012) - (Family Features) When the weather's right for enjoying the backyard, the last thing you want is to have your good time spoiled by pesky insects. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect family and friends from mosquitoes and other insects.

Controlling Mosquitoes
Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, they can be harmful to your health. To reduce your risk of getting mosquito bites -- and exposure to West Nile virus -- the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you take some preventative measures around the yard:

  • Eliminate standing water. Check old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or other containers where mosquitoes can breed.
  • Empty and change water in fountains, bird baths, wading pools, rain barrels and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.
  • Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.
  • Keep swimming pools treated and circulating.
  • Make sure rain gutters are unclogged.

One of the easiest steps you can take is to select an insect repellent that is right for you and your family.

"As a pediatrician and as a mom, I get questions all the time about the correct insect repellent to use," said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe. "It's important that families remember to use repellents regularly, just as you would sun protection." Cutter brand offers a range of insect protection, from personal repellents and sprays to backyard foggers. Dr. O'Keeffe says it's important to consider the length of time you plan to stay outdoors and your activities -- it will impact the type of repellent and active ingredients you choose.

Whether hosting a party or just spending time in the garden, homeowners can protect themselves and their guests by taking simple actions to help prevent insect bites. Consider the following steps when protecting your guests and outdoor spaces from mosquitoes:

1. Select a personal insect repellent that works best for you and your family -- consider the length of time you plan to stay outdoors and your activities. Keep an eye out for ingredients like CDC recommended DEET or Picaridin. Other options for families are plant-based ingredients like Lemon Eucalyptus or oil of Geranium.
2. When entertaining on the deck or patio, consider citronella candles made with real citronella oil -- not just a fragrance -- that offer up to 40 hours of protection.
3. Create a barrier around your entire home with backyard sprays and foggers, such as Cutter Backyard Bug Control.

Visit www.cutterinsectrepellents.com for more information and to find the insect repellent that fits your needs.

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