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CDC Adopts New Repellent Guidance
for Upcoming Mosquito Season


April 28, 2005

Americans have more options than ever to use in protecting themselves from mosquito bites. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance about effective mosquito repellents available in the United States. The updated guidance includes addition of two active ingredients - picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus - which have been shown to offer long-lasting protection against mosquito bites. Repellents containing DEET continue to be a highly effective repellent option and are also included in the CDC guidelines.




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Picaridin, also known as KBR 3023, is an ingredient found in many mosquito repellents used in Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia for some time. Evidence indicates that it works very well, often comparable with DEET products of similar concentration. One product, containing 7 percent picaridin, is being distributed in the United States for the first time this year. The other repellent is oil of lemon eucalyptus (also known as p-menthane 3,8-diol or PMD), a plant-based mosquito repellent that provided protection time similar to low concentration DEET products in two recent studies. It is available in a variety of formulations throughout the United States.

Attracting Mosquitoes

Dark Colors: Mosquitoes use vision to locate hosts.  Dark clothing is an attractant.


Carbon Dioxide: Exercising and being hot gives off carbon dioxide. Fire and burning candles are another source of carbon dioxide.


Lactic Acid: Eating salty foods or foods high in potassium release lactic acid.


Sweet Fragrances: Perfumes, hair products, scented sunscreens, fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

Skin Temperature: Mosquitoes are attracted to people  that are cooler.


Moisture: Perspiration and being humid attracts them.  Also, standing water is ideal mosquito breeding habitat.

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