Don't Let The Bugs Bite!

Safety Tip of the Week
What is your favorite repellent?

One thing a motorcycle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest might forget to pack when going to Sturgis is insect repellent. You’ll be travelling through and staying in areas where mosquitos and ticks carry diseases. Some ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and almost a dozen other serious diseases. Mosquitos can give you West Nile virus and other forms of encephalitis.

The best defenses against these insects are wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants that tuck into your boots, checking yourself daily for bugs and bites, and using a good repellent. Consumer Reports studied repellents and found that the most effective contained 15% to 30% deet, 20% picaridin, or 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE). Products made with such natural plant oils as citronella or cedar didn’t perform well.

Concentrations above 30% of deet can cause rash, disorientation, and seizures. Concentration of deet as low as 4% is effective for about 4 hours. A larger concentration gives you longer, not better, protection. So your best bet is to use a lower concentration of deet and apply the repellent more often. (Since high-concentration products are considerably more expensive, this is one time where cheaper is better.)