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How to Keep Bug Bites at Bay
CDC offers advice on thwarting disease-carrying insects
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, July 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Bug bites can make you more than itchy. Ticks, mosquitoes and certain flies are known to spread some nasty diseases. But U.S. health experts say there are ways to keep pesky insects in their place.
One of the best ways to prevent bug bites is to use an insect repellent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency recommends insect repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET. These products (which include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods) offer protection against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs.
It's unclear how effective natural insect repellents are in preventing bug bites, the CDC said.
The agency says other repellents that may only protect against mosquitoes include:
The CDC noted in a news release that these "insect repellent brand names are provided for your information only. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cannot recommend or endorse any name-brand products."
It's important to use insect repellents properly. Be sure to read all the directions on the product's packaging and use it as directed, the CDC advises.
Typically, repellents with greater concentrations of the active ingredient provide longer-lasting protection. But DEET concentrations above about 50 percent offer no additional protection, the agency explains.
The CDC offers additional tips to help prevent bug bites:
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about insect bites and stings.
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