Cyclones often bring a huge amount of rain as well as storm surges, and for those in Far North Queensland may find that this extra water has created the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Chemist and founder of Good Riddance mosquito repellent Jeannie Lynch says that while the next two weeks after significant rainfall are peak times for mosquitoes, there are ways to prevent bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
“It usually takes about two weeks after significant rainfall before mosquito numbers peak,” says Jeannie. “Don't underestimate them, especially this time of year when it is warm. Now is the time to start preparing for a mosquito outbreak by stocking up on repellent and checking for any holes in the fly screen on your windows and doors.”
Jeannie’s advice also includes applying a repellent before going outside and before you start getting bitten. “It only takes one bite to pick up a disease like Ross River or Dengue viruses,” she says.
Find a repellent that you enjoy wearing and feel comfortable reapplying as needed. “There is no point in buying the strongest tropical strength repellent you can find and then not applying it because you don't like the smell, or it irritates your skin,” she says. “Choose a repellent that works. The easiest way to do this is to choose products that are APVMA-registered. This means the product has undergone clinical trials and is proven to repel mosquitoes. You can tell if a product has been APVMA registered because it will have an APVMA registration number on the packaging. Make sure you also check that the repellent you choose will work for a long enough time to suit your needs. Several natural repellent sprays are APVMA registered, but they only offer protection for 15 minutes.”
“Good Riddance Insect Repellent lasts longer than other natural repellents, it is safe to reapply as often as needed and it has been tested and proven to repel disease-carrying mosquitoes which are the hardest species to repel,” says Jeannie.
If you have kids and babies, it's also essential to make sure they are protected, and you're choosing a product that doesn't irritate their skin. Good Riddance Sensitive Insect Repellent is perfect for youngsters. It's safe to apply from three months of age and can safely be applied as often as needed.
“Some people react badly when they do get a mosquito bite and if you're constantly scratching, it can very quickly become infected and leave significant scarring. The first line of defence is to have a product on hand that helps soothe the sting and itch as soon as you get bitten. It's better to try and prevent an infection than fight one.” Jeannie recommends Good Riddance Rescue Balm.
Make sure you read the label when choosing a repellent. “Choose a product that has antibacterial properties,” says Jeannie. “This means looking for ingredients like tea tree oil. Ingredients like lavender can have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce the swelling and welts that you get from the bites. The swelling that some people get from a mosquito bite is an allergic reaction so an over-the-counter antihistamine can be helpful if you're one of those people who experience severe itching and swelling.”
Jeannie says that a chemist or a doctor must see infected bites. “If you can't stop the scratching and your bites start to get red and feel quite warm, this could be an early sign of an infection. Don't wait to see if it gets better. Go to see your pharmacist for some stronger over-the-counter options, or book in to see a GP.”
Good Riddance was born in Darwin, where the founder, Jeannie, spent two years studying cosmetic chemistry and tirelessly trialing formulas with local fishermen around Kakadu. The desire to create these products sprang from a personal experience, living in the tropics with two mosquito-magnet kids, seeking alternatives to DEET and finding the natural options less effective. Visit www.goodriddance.com.au.
0421 771 938