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CDC suggests alternatives to DEET

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With West Nile cases moving into our area, it is important to know how to protect ourselves from the virus.

641 cases and 24 deaths in Texas, all from being bit by a mosquito. As West Nile continues to spread across the country, it is important to know how to protect yourself.

"I haven't seen mosquitoes. I haven't gotten bit yet this summer, but that doesn't mean that with the rains that we get that we wouldn't start seeing mosquitoes develop," Ed Bynum, Texas AgriLife Extension Entomologist says.

DEET has been the suggested ingredient in mosquito repellent to fight against West Nile. But now, the CDC suggests three other options, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and Geraniol. All are effective, but offer different durations of protection.

"As that protection wears off, then that's when you might get bitten and, that's the reason why you need to reapply the repellent," Bynum says.

Bynum says reading the labels and knowing when to reapply is the most effective way to protect yourself.

But, it's not just your body you should be protecting. Measures done around your home can also help in the battle.

"If you have any standing water around your house that you can get rid of, like buckets after it has rained, you need to dump those out. And then just preventative maintenance as far as just spraying the yard, and citronella candles on the back patio at night, and just keeping bug spray on you," Cory Halsted, Lowe's assistant store manager says.

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