Myth: Bug spray is not affordable.
This may not be true!
Truth: While everyone's financial situations are different, insect repellents can be more affordable than expected for most families.
First, there are MANY different types of insect repellents that can protect against mosquitoes. It
important, however, to only buy repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Learn more about which repellents are safe and effective
However, different brands, sizes, and concentrations of active ingredients may have different costs. More expensive does not necessarily mean a product is better or more effective. A product that offers longer protection may also be more expensive, but you may not need that much protection. For example, if you are only outside for an hour a day, you probably do not need to buy a product that offers eight hours of protection.
If you have Medicaid, you may be able to get a prescription for insect repellent and Medicaid will pay the cost. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you qualify. Some communities also have Zika kits available that can provide insect repellents for free. Talk with your local health department or Tribal health center for more information.
If you cannot afford or access repellent, there are still
you can take to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Staying indoors and covering up by wearing long sleeves and pants are two of the least expensive ways to protect yourself against bites.
Emptying standing water
and cleaning containers are additional measures to stop mosquitoes from reproducing in your neighborhood. This will only cost time, not money.
Using air conditioning or window screens if available can also help. The August 11 Zika newsletter describes some lower cost options for screening doors or windows.
Woman emptying standing water
Image courtesy of CDC
Finally, although insect repellent can be an additional expense, paying a few dollars a month can offer protection against the serious health problems that may be caused by Zika when a woman is infected during pregnancy. March of Dimes
that the lifetime cost of caring for a child born with microcephaly may be more than $10 million. Since the consequences of mosquito bites can be so serious, some families may be able to adjust their budgets to afford mosquito repellents.