Bugs Begone! The Best Insect Repellents Revealed
While bug repellents can be a pain to use, most of them being sticky and foul smelling, they are a necessary evil for anyone spending time outdoors. While avoiding getting itchy, red bites is one reason to use them, a more important consideration is the danger of transmitted illness such as the West Nile virus and Lyme disease. So, finding one that works well and is safe to use is a must for adults and kids alike. But keep in mind, “All repellents should be used sparingly and only for the time you need them—especially on children and older people,” as cautioned by Ellen Kunes, Consumer Reports’ heath and food content development team leader.
Consumer Reports has finally come out with new research revealing the most effective bug repellants available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that products using DEET are the most effective against mosquitos. And while it has garnered some scrutiny and suspicion, the EPA found that normal use of DEET “does not present a health concern to the general population.” Other ingredients found to be most effective by the CDC are picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
As for Consumer Reports’ top picks, Sawyer;s Fisherman’s Formula was at the top of the list, containing 20 percent picaridin, as was Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, which contains 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus. The study reported both as repelling both mosquitos and deer ticks for at least seven hours. Repel Scented Family and Off! Deepwoods VIII, both containing DEET, made it on the “Recommended” list.
What are your top rated insect repellants? Are there any other brands you think should have made it on Consumer Reports’ list?