Experts offer tips to avoid the seasonal bother and discomfort from insects.

As summer technically kicks off in Milwaukee, even in the damp and chilly condition that the season often resembles, families will be spending more time outdoors just as mosquitoes become more active. Whether at a Memorial Day parade with friends, a family softball game or backyard party with neighbors, it is important to take proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

“Preventing mosquito bites isn’t always the first thing we think about when heading outdoors,” said Kelly M. Semrau, spokesman for SC Johnson. “But to keep your family safe you need to protect yourself from insects that may carry diseases.”

Tips to help prevent mosquito bites:

Remove standing water. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so removing it from your property can reduce their numbers. Rain gutters, buckets, bird baths or fountains with stagnant water are all possible breeding sites.

Plan activities around peak mosquito hours. Although mosquitoes can bite any time of the day, they are most active at dawn and dusk. If possible, schedule your outdoor activities to avoid these times. Make sure you have personal repellent on hand to protect yourself, family and friends from mosquitoes.

Apply a pest pre-treatment to your yard. A pre-treatment product works to protect your yard from mosquitoes and other insects. Always read product directions prior to application.

Apply personal repellent. Applying a personal pest repellent correctly can help protect you from mosquito bites. Before using a personal repellent, always read the product label and follow directions.

Personal repellents come in many forms, including lotions, aerosol sprays and wipes, and can contain active ingredients such as DEET or Picaridin.

Personal repellents should be used on exposed skin and clothing to prevent mosquitoes from biting. Some repellents should not be used with certain fabrics such as rayon, spandex, acetate or other synthetic fabrics, so it’s important to always read the product label before applying to clothing.

Wear appropriate clothing. Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites, by acting as a barrier between your skin and the mosquito. When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.

Consider wearing light-colored clothing as mosquitoes are more attracted to dark-colored clothing.

Have spatial repellents on hand to keep mosquitoes away. Area or spatial repellents are used to reduce encounters between humans and mosquitoes in a broad area, including outdoor seating or around the yard. There are many different kinds of area repellents, so read the individual label carefully before selecting a product that’s right for your family and before using.

Since the 1950s, SC Johnson researchers in Racine have studied and advanced the sciences of insect biology, physiology, ecology, behavior and toxicology, as well as infestation management and insect-borne disease prevention.

The company has led many educational campaigns to increase awareness of best practices to help protect families from insect-borne diseases such as malaria, West Nile, Zika, dengue, yellow fever and Chikungunya.

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SC Johnson