Thermacell®, the area insect repellent so popular with hunters, anglers and lovers of the outdoors, has received an acknowledgement from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has recognized Thermacell products as effective repellents for the Aedes mosquitoes, the vector for the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and several other diseases.
Thermacell repellents create a zone of protection about 15 feet square from mosquitoes and other flying insects. The no-spray technology creates the zone by heating and dispersing a repellent into the air called allethrin, which is a copy of a natural repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers. Thermacells are silent and odorless can be used safely around children and pets. For more information go to www.thermacell.com.
The Zika virus is, unfortunately, stealing headlines from the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Since Zika was discovered in 1947 the rare outbreaks were always small and mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia. Now it is epidemic in Brazil and much of South America; and it is spreading to other continents. Miami, Florida has the first outbreak for the U.S. mainland. When the Olympics have concluded the virus could quickly spread around the world.
For full disclosure, the best insect repellents for application to the skin contain DEET, and they are quite effective. Then there is a fabric spray repellent (not meant for the skin) called permethrin that works well on its own. When DEET and permethrin-treated clothing are used together, nearly perfect protection against mosquito bites can be achieved.