Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

While enjoying the warm summer weather, don’t forget to protect yourself from pesky bugs that bite.

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely to avoid mosquito and other bug bites.

Bug bites can cause a number of health problems from itchiness and irritation to potentially serious diseases. Personal insect repellents can help protect you from mosquito, blackfly and tick bites, but it’s important to remember that they should be used only as directed.

Related: Perfect mosquito storm brewing in Okanagan

All insect repellents, whether they are sprays, lotions or wearable devices, must be approved by Health Canada for safety and effectiveness. This includes natural insect repellents like citronella or other essential oils. Using approved products according to label directions ensures that they are used safely and effectively.

What you should do:

To help avoid bug bites, cover exposed skin with clothing as much as possible. If you choose to use a personal insect repellent, follow these important steps:

Use insect repellents that have been approved by Health Canada. (They have a Pest Control Product (PCP) registration number on the product label. This code has up to five digits and sometimes two extra characters at the end. For example, PCP Reg. No. 12345 or 12345.xx.)

Always read the entire label carefully before using, and follow all directions. This includes restrictions for use on children and the maximum number of applications allowed per day.

Keep in mind that insect repellents are proven to work against only the insects listed on the label.

Apply only a small amount of repellent on exposed skin or on top of clothing. (You don’t need a lot for it to be effective.)

Never spray insect repellents directly into your face. Spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.

Try not to get repellent in your eyes. If you do, rinse them immediately with water.

Keep all insect repellent containers out of reach and sight of children and pets and supervise the application of insect repellents on children. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands to reduce the chance of their getting repellent in their eyes and mouths if they touch their hands to their eyes or mouth.

If you are concerned that you might be sensitive to a product, apply the product to a small area of skin on your arm and wait 24-hours to see if you have a reaction.

If you suspect that you or your child is reacting to an insect repellent, stop using the product immediately, wash treated skin, and get medical help. When you go to your health care provider, take the product container with you.

If you wish to buy pesticides online, be aware that you cannot purchase unregistered pesticides online and have them shipped to Canada. The purchaser of the product must bring it into Canada in person.

Just Posted

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Traffic snarls at Agassiz/Harrison bridge after biker falls on road

A road bicyclist fell from his bike while crossing the bridge and needed medical attention

Complaint about cattle prods at Chilliwack rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

Inquest scheduled into woman’s death while in Chilliwack police custody

BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Charlene Teresa Sakamoto

New trail link from Chilliwack Community Forest to the valley floor underway

The new trail will boast 350-metre elevation drop for mountain-bikers, hikers and more

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Surrey looks to target illegal dumpers with surveillance cameras

Since 2007, illegal dumping has cost the City of Surrey more than $8.5 million dollars

Court sides with developer in Jumbo ‘substantially started’ dispute

Resort developer successfully argues 2014 decision that halted the project was unfair

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Conditions improve for battling northwest B.C. wildfires, minister says

‘Self-evacuated’ people fleeing smoke advised to go home

UPDATED: B.C. matching Red Cross donations for victims of wildfires

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

Most Read