Mosquito Repellent Products Billings MT

People infected with the West Nile virus rarely become sick enough to miss work, but about 20 percent of infected individuals experience severe headache, flu-like symptoms, or a characteristic non-itchy, non-painful rash. About one in 150 people—particularly the elderly and those with weakened immune systems—may have more severe symptoms, and some develop viral meningitis or encephalitis.

Snyders Western Drug
(406) 252-9000
823 N 27th St
Billings, MT
 
Osco Drug
(406) 252-6334
1633 Grand Ave
Billings, MT
 
Albertson's Food & Drug
(406) 248-2631
511 Central Ave
Billings, MT
 
Target Stores
(406) 652-2263
2601 Central Ave
Billings, MT
 
Gene's Pharmacy
(406) 628-7217
111 E Main St
Laurel, MT
 
At Home Solutions
(406) 255-7463
404 N 31st St Ste 227
Billings, MT
 
Albertsons Supermarkets
(406) 248-5544
1280 Grand Ave
Billings, MT
 
Snyders Western Drug
(406) 259-7034
1311 Grand Ave
Billings, MT
 
Snyders Western Drug
(406) 628-8746
209 S 1st Ave
Laurel, MT
 
Kmart
(406) 656-5700
2424 Central Ave
Billings, MT
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Ask the Doctor—Mosquitoes

Provided by: 

By Paul Bergner

Q. Mosquitoes love the taste of me. Do any chemical-free options help repel bugs?

A. Most of us who grew up in the US consider mosquitoes simply a summertime nuisance. But in other parts of the world, they have long-carried serious diseases—malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever to name but a few. Today, mosquito bites in the US and Canada can have similar consequences. Since 1999, a new mosquito-borne illness, West Nile fever, has spread widely.

People infected with the West Nile virus rarely become sick enough to miss work, but about 20 percent of infected individuals experience severe headache, flu-like symptoms, or a characteristic non-itchy, non-painful rash. About one in 150 people—particularly the elderly and those with weakened immune systems—may have more severe symptoms, and some develop viral meningitis or encephalitis. In the US, West Nile season runs from late June or early July until the first hard frost in the fall, usually peaking in August. In addition to making life-style decisions—avoiding places where mosquitoes lurk, such as areas with standing water, and covering up with clothing and head nets, for instance—we can apply certain topical repellents to keep the bugs at bay.

Most commercial insect repellents contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-toluamide), a chemical that prevents the bites of mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks. It works by altering the insects’ sense perceptions so they no longer see humans as a potential meal. Although the Environmental Protection Agency considers DEET generally safe if you follow label instructions, you rapidly absorb DEET through the skin, and the chemical then spreads to all the body’s organs. Some people experience skin rashes when using DEET, and overuse has caused neurological injuries. Concerns about possible low-grade systemic toxicity have led some people to look for safer and effective alternatives, such as herbs.

According to recent studies, one of them, catnip oil, may work even better than DEET. Although researchers haven’t found the mechanism that makes the oil effective, a single application may repel mosquitoes for up to six hours. If you’re concerned about ticks or biting flies, though, catnip oil may not help; it hasn’t yet been tested against these insects. Because your skin readily absorbs essential oils (which can also cause topical irritation), always dilute one part essential oil in 50 parts carrier oil (such as almond or olive oil) before applying essential oils to your skin. Or instead of making your own concoction, you can buy an herbal mosquito repellent containing catnip oil. Do not use the oil on your hands or near your eyes. If the catnip oil causes irritation, wash it off promptly.

If you already have mosquito bites, many herbal remedies can stop the itch. Natural products stores carry herbal salves with extracts of calendula flowers or plantain leaves, both of which help reduce itching and swelling.

Author: Paul Bergner

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