Most people have been bitten by a mosquito or similar insect at one point or another in their lives. Usually just an annoyance with some itching or redness that goes away in a few days, insect bites can also prove to be very serious.
Insect Repellent Awareness Day is here to act as a reminder during the early days of the summer season that it’s important to be protected by wearing insect repellent when spending time outside!
History of Insect Repellent Awareness Day
Launched in 2014, Insect Repellent Awareness Day was founded by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to help people understand the importance of using repellents both in their own country and, perhaps even more importantly, when traveling abroad.
Insect Repellent Awareness Day aims to promote the use of insect repellents to not only prevent bites but the spread of diseases, such as malaria, that can be carried by insects. Insect repellents can be used in various forms, including sprays, creams and tablets, and can help reduce insect bites significantly.
How to Observe Insect Repellent Awareness Day
Keep the family and others in your life safe by raising awareness for and observing Insect Repellent Awareness Day. Have an enjoyable time celebrating the day and consider implementing some of these ideas:
Stock Up on Insect Repellent
While most insect repellents and bug sprays take a long time to expire, Insect Repellent Awareness Day is the perfect time to check out the bug spray that has been in the cabinet since last year to see if it is still good. Look at the expiration dates on the bottle. Also make sure that there’s no corrosion or signs of decay on the bottle.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends bug spray that contains DEET for the safest and most effective protection against harmful insects. It’s a great idea to have several bottles of insect repellent around the house, obviously kept in places that are out of reach of small children. Keep one by the front door and the back door. Keep one in a backpack that is used for hiking. And keep a bottle right there with the camping equipment to make it easy to find and use.
Host an Insect Repellent Educational Event
Schools can tie in a celebration of Insect Repellent Awareness Day by assigning children projects around the theme of bugs and insects. Perhaps it would be possible to link this in with some important first aid knowledge around what to do if someone is bitten. And, of course, it would be very important to have a lesson, complete with a demonstration, about how to use insect repellents in a careful and safe manner.
Learn More About Insects
To make sure the day is filled with fun and interesting ways to learn, spend some time brushing up on interesting facts and bits of trivia about insects that might help to raise awareness for Insect Repellent Day. Consider learning and sharing some of these facts for the day:
The first insect – in fact, the first of any animal – to ever go into space was a fruit fly! They blasted off in a V2 rocket in 1947 for about 68 miles, and then made their way back to earth via a small parachute.
Although mosquitos can be annoying, and even dangerous, they are still an important part of the food chain. If they were wiped out from the earth, it could create a wide number of impacts that would be detrimental to the environment.
While people often associate bees with making honey, many people don’t realize that insects are associated with making chocolate and ice cream! A tiny midge pollinates the cacao plant and insects also pollinate the alfalfa that is eaten by dairy cows to produce milk and then ice cream.