I grew up in Connecticut and spent a significant amount of time only miles from Lyme, CT where the effects of lyme disease were first detected and reported. As beautiful as Connecticut’s forests, coastlines, and countrysides are, they are breeding grounds for deer ticks not to mention mosquitos, black flies, no-see-ums, and other pests. When I was younger, the only viable option we had was insect repellent with DEET in varying concentrations. The strongest DEET available was used primarily on clothing as it was considered too strong and potentially unsafe. Repellent paired with daily and nightly vigilance was the best answer to the tick and insect problem. Over the years, I used other products that worked with mixed results. Recently, I was exposed to Bullseye Insect Repellent with IR3535. This Department of Defense-approved product was advertised as working better and longer than DEET; a claim I had to test myself. While field testing Bullseye, I reflected on some best practices for repellents like this one. Just like any gear, it isn’t just that we have it, it is how we use it.
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