Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

While enjoying the warm summer weather, don’t forget to protect yourself from pesky bugs that bite.

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely to avoid mosquito and other bug bites.

Bug bites can cause a number of health problems from itchiness and irritation to potentially serious diseases. Personal insect repellents can help protect you from mosquito, blackfly and tick bites, but it’s important to remember that they should be used only as directed.

Related: Perfect mosquito storm brewing in Okanagan

All insect repellents, whether they are sprays, lotions or wearable devices, must be approved by Health Canada for safety and effectiveness. This includes natural insect repellents like citronella or other essential oils. Using approved products according to label directions ensures that they are used safely and effectively.

What you should do:

To help avoid bug bites, cover exposed skin with clothing as much as possible. If you choose to use a personal insect repellent, follow these important steps:

Use insect repellents that have been approved by Health Canada. (They have a Pest Control Product (PCP) registration number on the product label. This code has up to five digits and sometimes two extra characters at the end. For example, PCP Reg. No. 12345 or 12345.xx.)

Always read the entire label carefully before using, and follow all directions. This includes restrictions for use on children and the maximum number of applications allowed per day.

Keep in mind that insect repellents are proven to work against only the insects listed on the label.

Apply only a small amount of repellent on exposed skin or on top of clothing. (You don’t need a lot for it to be effective.)

Never spray insect repellents directly into your face. Spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.

Try not to get repellent in your eyes. If you do, rinse them immediately with water.

Keep all insect repellent containers out of reach and sight of children and pets and supervise the application of insect repellents on children. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands to reduce the chance of their getting repellent in their eyes and mouths if they touch their hands to their eyes or mouth.

If you are concerned that you might be sensitive to a product, apply the product to a small area of skin on your arm and wait 24-hours to see if you have a reaction.

If you suspect that you or your child is reacting to an insect repellent, stop using the product immediately, wash treated skin, and get medical help. When you go to your health care provider, take the product container with you.

If you wish to buy pesticides online, be aware that you cannot purchase unregistered pesticides online and have them shipped to Canada. The purchaser of the product must bring it into Canada in person.

Just Posted

Closure of St. Joseph’s School in Chemainus a trying time for staff, students

Enrollment numbers fall short, resulting in the decision no one wanted

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Ladysmith motorist injured after striking restaurant sign, charges pending

A Ladysmith resident could potentially be facing an alleged impaired driving charge… Continue reading

Paramount budgets $7M for Sonic the Hedgehog movie shoot in ‘hero town’ Ladysmith

Paramount Pictures is budgeting upwards of $7-million for a film shoot later… Continue reading

UPDATED: Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

BC Ferries posts strong earnings before rate cuts

Last year highest ever for vehicle traffic, most walk-ons in 20 years

Snapchat used to make mass shooting threat in Kamloops

RCMP did not dub the threat a hoax, instead called it “unsubstantiated”

B.C. groups file response to government’s fight against solitary confinement

B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended ruling for one year to give government time to draft legislation

Driver hospitalized after truck hits pole on Malahat

The pole prevented the red truck from travelling down a steep embankment.

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

B.C. Christian school mulls covenant, future of law school after court ruling

The university still wants to open a law school, but is looking at its options.

Ultra-low cost airline to launch in B.C. this week

Swoop destinations include Abbotsford, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Halifax and Edmonton

Most Read