Picaridin Insect Repellent is the Best Protection Against Tick-Borne Diseases

Andy McVey

There are many reasons to choose an insect repellent with picaridin, like Ranger Ready, over a DEET-based repellent. Picaridin is odorless and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on skin. It is non-corrosive to gear and equipment and doesn’t have the same health risks that are associated with DEET.  

Repellent with picaridin protects from being bitten by mosquitos and ticks for 12 hours, protection from biting flies, no-see-ums, chiggers, and more for 8 hours, and helps prevent contracting one of the many debilitating illnesses these insects can carry.  

So how does an insect repellent with picaridin, like Ranger Ready, protect from vector-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, West Nile and Zika virus? By repelling a broader range of biting insects with a longer lasting barrier effect.

How Does Picaridin Repel Bugs

Picaridin is derived from the naturally occurring organic compound piperine — the alkaloid that gives black pepper its hot flavor. Odorless to humans, picaridin disrupts an insect’s sense of smell by disrupting the olfactory receptors biting insects use to find food. When picaridin is applied to the body, insects fail to recognize the wearer as a possible food source and seek sustenance elsewhere.

What Types of Biting Insects Does Picaridin Repel? 

Picaridin protects against a wide variety of pests, including ticks, mosquitos, biting flies, sand flies, gnats, chiggers, no-see-ums and midges. Mosquito- and tick-borne diseases affect millions of people around the world, and their presence and intensity are increasing year-over-year. According to the CDC, each year an estimated 300,000 people will contract Lyme disease alone.

tick and mosquito intensity maps for vector borne diseases

Mosquito Prevention

To most, mosquitos are an annoyance. Bites are uncomfortable and itchy, but eventually, they fade. These experiences make it easy to forget mosquitos are the number one transmitter of vector-borne diseases and the deadliest creature in the world. They cause over one million deaths every year, mostly due to malaria. In the US, however, the following diseases tend to catch headlines:

Zika Virus: Spread by the Aedes species of mosquito, Zika virus is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cause birth defects like microcephaly, as well as miscarriage and stillbirth. 8 out of 10 people infected by West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.

West Nile Virus: West Nile virus can cause serious, long-lasting fevers as well as neurological issues such as encephalitis and meningitis.

Chikungunya Virus: Recently discovered in the Americas, Chikungunya virus is not fatal, but can lead to fever, joint pain and headaches.

St. Louis Encephalitis: After incubating for 5 to 15 days, symptoms of St. Louis Encephalitis will emerge abruptly, starting with fever, headaches and dizziness, and can progress to neurological infection.

Luckily, bug sprays with picaridin, like Ranger Ready, provide 12 hours of mosquito protection when applied as directed, which aides in preventing these vector-borne illnesses.

Tick-Bite Protection

Despite popular belief, ticks are not insects — they’re arachnids. Found in all parts of the U.S., ticks are more closely related to spiders than mosquitos. They’re also capable of spreading deadly diseases in one bite

Tick bites are often not felt until it’s too late. They are small and tend to seek less visible spaces. It’s possible for a tick bite to go unnoticed for some time, however it takes less than 15 minutes for a tick-borne illness to be contracted.

Picaridin repels ticks for 12 hours and protects against additional tick-borne diseases, including:

Lyme Disease: The most well-known tick-borne illness is spread by the blacklegged tick, more commonly known as the deer tick. Early signs of Lyme disease include rashes and flu-like symptoms, followed by severe joint pain and neurological problems like facial paralysis, impaired muscle movement, numb or weak limbs and meningitis.

Powassan Virus: The blacklegged tick and the groundhog tick are carriers. Relatively rare, but sometimes deadly, Powassan virus can spread within minutes of a tick bite and lead to encephalitis, meningitis and permanent neurological damage.

Alpha-gal Syndrome: Spread by the Lone Star tick, which transmits a sugar molecule called “alpha-gal” into the body, symptoms include swelling, digestive issues and a severe allergy to red meat.

Babesiosis: When the blacklegged tick bites, it can transfer microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Babesiosis can lead to flu-like symptoms, anemia and life-threatening issues.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Spread by the American dog tick. RMSF causes a distinctive spotted rash and flu-like symptoms which can become life-threatening if not treated.

Stop Biting Flies

There are several different species of biting flies that can transmit diseases to humans. Ranger Ready with Picaridin 20%, protects against sand flies, black flies, gnats and other airborne insects that feed on animal blood for up to 8 hours. Two diseases to watch out for include:

Leishmaniasis: Caused by the Leishmania parasite, this disease is can include painless skin ulcers that may not appear for years. However, in more severe cases, Leishmaniasis can cause sudden weight loss, enlarging of the spleen and liver, and overall weakness of the body.

Pappataci Fever: Also known as “sandfly fever,” Pappataci Fever can cause weakness, dizziness and a fast-occurring fever that usually passes after a few days. Pappataci fever is not prevalent in the United States, showing up mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Comprehensive Protection from Vector-Borne Diseases

Picaridin insect repellents are fast becoming a new favorite as a safe and effective alternative to DEET-based repellents. A leading ingredient in Europe for over 25 years, picaridin provides superior protection from biting insects and pests, and the hazards that accompany them. With proven 12-hour protection from mosquitos and ticks, up to 8-hours of protection against biting flies, chiggers, midges and no-see-ums, and an ingredient that is safe for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s no surprise that Ranger Ready Repellent is the go-to bug spray for those who work and play outdoors.

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