I’m not huge on bugs. I’m not the biggest wimp in the world, but I’m not making pets out of spiders either. That said, I don’t have too much problem with grabbing a live spider by the leg if need be to get him out of my house. One night, while about 7 months pregnant with my second son, I saw a MASSIVE spider crawling down the wall of my house.
But there was something super creepy about the size of this spider. I called my husband downstairs to “take care” of the intruder. After he laughed at me and put the spider outside, I felt the need (as you do when you are pregnant,) to search the whole house and eradicate anything with more than 4 legs. The thought of any insect biting me on my already swollen, super-itchy belly was more than I could stand.
So I went to the store the next day in search of weapons, and discovered that what is available on the store shelves are actually more harmful than a bug bite could ever be. Insects themselves aren’t any more dangerous to a pregnant woman and her unborn child than they are to anyone else. Certainly if you come in contact with an exceptionally poisonous insect, like a black widow, or a tick carrying Lyme’s disease, it’s going to have a negative affect on you, and your fetus.
However, if you just have the run of the mill bug or two, spray can pesticides are not the answer. Pesticides, (especially those used to kill ants and roaches) have been linked to developmental and learning disabilities, although more research is needed.
If you have a big problem, and need to call in a professional to have your house fumigated, it is recommended to double the amount of time recommended by the fumigation company before you re-enter your home.
If you just want to keep bugs off of you when you go outside, for instance, most experts agree that DEET based insect repellents are not a danger to pregnant women. DEET can be found in many different products, and it is best to use the lowest concentration of DEET possible.
Some helpful hints:
- Avoid being outside when mosquito's are at their most active state (dawn and dusk.)
- Wear long sleeves and long pants, especially in grassy or wooded areas.
- Keep indoor windows shut tight, or be sure windows are screened.
- If you absolutely need some sort of insect repellent; you can use citronella oil, or a product with the lowest amount of DEET possible, and spray the repellent on your clothing, but not directly on your skin.
- If you are enjoying the outdoors in one concentrated area (like your own backyard,) burn citronella candles.
- Some people swear by Avon’s Skin So Soft as a mosquito and insect repellent.
If you are unsure of the toxicity of a product you are considering, call the National Pesticide Clearinghouse at (800) 858-7378. You can also get free information about toxicity and pregnancy by calling (866) 626-6847 toll-free or visiting the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists
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