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Tick Repellent Labels Updated – Will it Help You Protect Your Family Against Lyme Disease?

by lmatthews on July 24, 2014

Tick Repellent Labels Updated - Will it Help You Protect Your Family Against Lyme Disease?The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled their new repellency awareness graphics produced in response to a need for clearer labelling of those products intended to protect users against ticks and mosquitoes. Many people fail to use bug repellents appropriately, giving them a false sense of security when it comes to Lyme disease and other vector-borne infections.

One of the key failings of current product labels is that consumers cannot quickly identify whether a product is effective against ticks, mosquitoes, or both. The longevity of the protection is also often hard to ascertain from labeling, meaning that someone could spray the product on their skin once at the beginning of a hike and assume they are protected for the duration of that hike when, in fact, they really need to reapply the product every two or three hours.

Standardised Labelling for Tick and Mosquito Repellents

Not all companies will be displaying the new labels on their products as the EPA will permit the graphics only on insect repellents that have met current testing requirements. The use of the graphics is voluntary but one would imagine that companies manufacturing effective repellents will want to quickly take up the opportunity to appeal to customers concerned with the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne and mosquito-borne infections.

2015 Launch for New EPA-Approved Labels

The graphics were designed following input from focus groups, online surveys and consultation with manufacturers, in addition to public comment. Labels will being to appear on products early in 2015, allowing manufacturers time to get approval for use of the labels and to redesign their current labels.


Three versions of the graphic exist: one showing mosquitoes and ticks, and one for each individually. Mosquito bites can lead to infection with West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis and also chikungunya, a virus new to the US but which is spreading rapidly. Ticks not only carry Lyme disease bacteria but also spread ehrlichiosis, bartonella, babesiosis and other infections.

Tick-Repellent Clothing Ineligible

The best way to avoid these infectious conditions is to prevent tick and mosquito bites by repelling the insects. The new labels base their expected efficacy times for the insect repellents on multiple studies and only apply to products applied to the skin. Clothing with in-built tick repellent, or permethrin applied to clothing will not be eligible to carry the new EPA repellency graphics.

Tick Repellency Labels like SPF Labels

The EPA has compared the new graphics to those used on sunscreen to provide easily understandable sun protection factor (SPF) information. In the US there are around 300,000 cases of Lyme disease each year, although reporting of the disease is so haphazard that accurate numbers are difficult to establish. Using an effective tick repellent is the best way to stay protected against Lyme disease.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carol August 23, 2014 at 12:12 am

Over recent months I have had to stay in various hotels in the UK.
4 within the same chain of basic accommodation they don’t have
a Star ratiting as such. Probably about a 3 star.
The chain allow owners to bring dogs.
The bed lining has a label of wash at 40•
It was washed by one of the hospital cleaners.
The beds were not vaccum between guests they used a matrice
Protect which was supposed to protect what I am not sure?
Each hotel I got bitten even using spray didn’t seem to stop
the bites. I have brought a mini Dyson.
So far I have been to unwell to use it.
Staff vaccum the carpet everyday if you are not in the room directly.
However the vaccum is only used to pick up crumbs in the middle of the
floor.

I stayed in a 4 star spa hotel.
It seemed clean to start with.
I sat in the bar and stood up from the chair I had been bitten.
By not just one mite. But several…
My bum was very painful.
I sprayed myself with insecticide it didn’t make
Too much differance to the pain.
The insect was a brown or off white.
One had burrowed into my side and I didn’t find it for a few days.
It was wriggling when I pulled it out.
Thought it might be a Harvast Mite?
I found spars and sauna’s are prone to infestations of Harvast Mite.
Because of the warm damp surroundings.
They are known like Tick to carry infection.

We seem to forget the inside of the house and buildings.
When I was a child my mother used to boil the clothes.
When I was older she then got a twin tub.
That’s when I noticed being bitten in doors.
Hot water maybe the only treatment.
Tick are microwave immune. And will be insecticide if not already.
Steam clean and vaccum everything.

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