The hotter the weather is, the more active flies and mosquitoes seem to be. Mosquitoes, in particular, are at their worst in damp areas, such as near ponds or in marshes. Some species are especially pesky late in the day and are attracted to outdoor lighting after dark. So don't let your guard down at sunset. You may be able to avoid a bite in the first place by using the repellents below.
DEET. Dr. Frazier recommends any commercial repellent containing N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET). Apply generously over all exposed skin, but be careful around the eyes—it can sting badly if perspiration carries it into the eyes. Don't use insect repellents under clothing either. And make sure DEET-containing repellents used on children don't contain more than 10 percent DEET. The chemical, absorbed through the skin, can be harmful to children. Also, don't allow children to handle insect repellents, and don't apply repellent to a child's hands. Instead, apply it to your hands, then rub it on the child's skin.
Chlorine bleach. Dr. Luscombe recommends bathing in a very diluted solution of chlorine bleach before going outside. Mix two capfuls of bleach in a tub of warm water. Soak in it for 15 minutes. Be very careful not to get the solution near or in your eyes. The repellent effect should last several hours.
Bath oil. Certain bath oils, such as Alpha-Keri and Avon's Skin-So-Soft, have a repellent effect, Dr. Luscombe says.
Vicks VapoRub. Some people report success with this strong-smelling ointment, says Dr. Luscombe.