Windspree Vacation Homes St John USVI

The Truth About Mosquitos

Author: Windspree Vacation Homes 

The CDC currently recommends women who are pregnant not travel to US Virgin Islands.

Worried about mosquitos or mosquito-born viruses? Here's what you need to know if you're traveling to the US Virgin Islands.

Mosquitos will most likely appear across the islands 2-3 days after a good rain. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages everyone to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, not only to protect against getting diseases like Zika, Chikungunya & West Nile, but also to prevent the spread of viruses among the mosquito population.

The CDC specifically recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.

    • bug-sprayDEET:  The most common mosquito and tick repellent; gives off a distinct odor and may damage plastic, rubber and vinyl. Known to be safe when used as directed. DEET can irritate the eyes. DEET 7-10 percent is recommended for short protection time and 20-30 percent for longer periods.
    • IR3535: Can be irritating to the eyes and may dissolve or damage plastics, but poses few other safety risks. Used in Europe for 20+ years with no reports of problems. Was found to perform as well as DEET against deer ticks and the Culex mosquitoes that sometimes carry West Nile virus, but slightly less effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes that may carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.
    • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus: If refined, this natural alternative results in what's known as PMD. Many products combine oil of lemon eucalyptus and PMD. Some tests show the combination may perform as well as DEET against both mosquitoes and ticks, though its maximum protection time is shorter. The EPA recommends not using oil of lemon eucalyptus/PMD when the risk of West Nile virus is high and the CDC advises against the use of the oil on children under three years of age. 
    • Picaridin: Not known to irritate skin and eyes, does not have a pungent odor, and does not dissolve plastics. It evaporates from the skin more slowly than DEET or IR3535 and may repel bugs for longer periods.

If infected, mosquito-born viruses typically remain in the blood for about a week and will protect you from future infection. For more information about mosquito-born viruses and up-to-date travel recommendations, visit the CDC website and the CDC travel page for the USVI.



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