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To properly apply insect repellent for maximum protection against mosquitoes and ticks, follow this five-step method:

  1. Look for a product containing an active EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535.
  2. Read the product label and follow the instructions carefully. If sunscreen is also being worn, repellent should be used over top of sunscreen.
  3. Shake the product well. Then, hold it about 6-8 inches away from exposed skin and spray evenly in a sweeping motion.
  4. Spray the palms of hands to apply the repellent to the face and ears, being sure to avoid eye and nostril contact.
  5. Apply the repellent over clothing, which should completely cover feet and ankles.

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