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How to protect against WNV


How can I protect myself from mosquito bites?  

Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. If you need to be outside during this time, wear light coloured long sleeves and pants. Also, avoid using perfume or cologne as these products attract mosquitoes.

Insect repellents

When outside, use an insect repellent to help prevent mosquito bites. The chemical DEET is the most common ingredient in repellents. Higher concentrations (ratings) of DEET offer the same amount of protection as lower concentrations, but protect you for a longer amount of time.


DEET application chart

Age Group

% of DEET

Recommended number of times applied in a day

Hours of protection with each application

Newborn to 6 months

DEET is not recommended for this age group

6 months to 2 years

5 to 10%

Not more than 1 (do not apply to hands or face)

2 to 3

2 years to 12 years

5 to 10%

Not more than 3

2 to 3

12 years


None Stated

Up to 5

Older than 12 years


None Stated

Up to 6.5

Source: Health Canada


More tips on the use of DEET

  • Keep DEET products out of the reach of children.
  • Apply DEET only to exposed skin, and avoid the eyes and mouth.
  • When applying DEET to the face, put the product onto your hands first, and then apply to your face. If DEET gets into your eyes, rinse immediately with water.
  • Wash skin afterwards (when you no longer need protection).
  • For people who may be allergic to DEET: To help prevent mosquitoes from biting through clothing (thin clothing), spraying your clothing with permethrin or DEET limits DEET from entering the bloodstream while offering protection.

What are the alternatives to DEET repellents?

  • P-menthane 3, 8-diol: A product containing this active ingredient was recently registered in Canada. P-menthane 3, 8-diol is a synthetic chemical which naturally occurs in the oil of lemon eucalyptus. It provides up to 2 hours of protection against mosquitoes and can be applied two times daily. This chemical is associated with the product, OFF! Do not use this product on children under 3 years of age.
  • Soybean oil: Registered products containing soybean oil provide between one to 3.5 hours of protection against mosquitoes, depending on the product. Soybean Oil can be found in such products as Blocker TM Insect Repellent.
  • Citronella and Lavender: Registered products containing citronella protect people from mosquito bites from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Registered lavender products repel mosquitoes for approximately 30 minutes. These products cannot be used on infants and toddlers under 2 years of age. It should be noted that products containing citronella or lavender should not be applied to cut, abraded or sun burnt skin.

More ways to protect yourself
: See the section on Eliminating mosquitoes around the home