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Avoiding Insect Bites


Summary: There are some fairly new and unusual items to help your efforts when avoiding insect bites and itching from poisonous plants. Some are topical creams and others are clothing or defensive items. It's all about the modern way to avoid insect bites and itching.

If avoiding insect bites and itching from allery-causing plants is your goal, I've got some great products. If you are highly allergic to poison ivy there is a new product that can prevent the itching and rashes caused by the urushiol found in the sap of these plants and others.

Ivy Block claims it is the only FDA approved itch prevention product that forms a barrier that absorbs the oil and prevents it from getting to your skin. The downside of IvyBlock is that it must be applied every four hours and it is expensive at $12 for four ounces. You can buy it at most drug stores or online .

***image1*** The TermaCell mosquito repellent unit is supposed to encase you inside your own bubble of protection. According to the manufacturer the unit uses Allethrin, a synthetic insecticide, which is heated by a butane cartridge, creating a fifteen foot diameter of protection. The unit uses strips of Allethrin that last up to four hours and the butane cartridge goes for eight to twelve hours. You can buy them at Home Depot, Wal-Mart Stores and Dicks Sporting Goods for around $22 to $29. I would have to think a little before I would use a combination of pesticides and a butane flame.

Of course, if you have already become bug food, just slip on a DermaSmart shirt by Milliken. It is designed to reduce itching and irritation from bug bites and sunburns. It is made of 100 percent microfiber polyester which is dye-free, more breathable and smoother than cotton. Flat seams, a covered waistband and the absence of labels provide additional comfort. It brings relief to the itching, but also relieves your wallet of about $40-$70 per adult garment or two-piece children's set. Check it out at www.dermasmart.com.

The DEET-free BugBand wristbands by Effective Environmental Systems contain geraniol, a non-toxic substance produced by flowering plants and honey bees. BugBand repels mosquitoes and other biting insects up to 15 feet away. Each band is good for up to 120 hours. Six colors and a glow-in-the-dark band are available for $4.99 per band at Bass Pro Shops and www.bugband.net.

Tommy Hilfiger, L.L.Bean and Oxford Golf are just a few manufacturers who have partnered with Buzz Off Insect Shield to produce insect-repellent clothing. The Buzz Off process binds permethrin, a synthetic version of pyrethrin, a natural insecticide, to the fabric. The permethrin repels biting insects from areas of the body covered by the fabric. Buzz Off Insect Shield lasts at least 25 washings. Look for it at www.buzzoff.com.



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