Experts say nuisance mosquitoes are aggressively breeding in the Chicago area, and two mosquito traps, in Northbrook and Kenilworth, tested positive last week for the deadly West Nile Virus.
In some areas experiencing recent torrential rains, avoiding mosquito bites is nearly impossible without a good coating of mosquito repellant.
How do you know which repellant works best?
Clarke Mosquito Control's George Balis suggests following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has identified several types of Environmental Protection Agency-registered products for use on skin and clothing. They all contain one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD and IR3535.
Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer and Ultrathon. Those with Picaridin include Cutter Advanced and Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus; those with PMD include Repel and Off! Botanicals; and those with IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
Other products may include these ingredients as well.
Products that don't work so well? Dryer sheets are proven not to work, Balis said, and citronella candles aren't as effective as CDC-approved products.
"These will work for a small area potentially, but many of them are unproven," Balis said of the candles.
For a complete list of do's and don'ts to protect yourself against mosquitoes, ticks and other insects, click here.