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Zika Bug Spray Recommendations

Tim Boyer's picture
Consumer Reports' best picks for repelling insects

Protect yourself and your loved ones with these Zika bug spray recommendations from Consumer Reports and CBS News.


Zika is a real threat and now the public has some information on how best to protect itself with useful tips and recommended bug sprays tested by Consumer Reports researchers.

Here’s a CBS News video about Consumer Reports’ latest findings and recommendations:

According to CBS News, Consumer Reports recently revealed the results of what bug sprays available to consumers can help protect against infection of Zika and West Nile Virus via mosquito bites. With the help of some extraordinary volunteers who willingly placed their arms in harm’s way, up to 16 insect repellents were put to the test to see which ones are the most effective.

"In a laboratory, very brave volunteers put their arms into a cage full of 200 disease-free mosquitoes and we use two types of mosquitoes," Trisha Calvo of Consumer Reports told CBS New York. "One is the Culex mosquito that carries West Nile and the other is the Aedes mosquito that carries Zika."

Here’s a Video about the Research

Their number one recommendation:

Sawyer's Fisherman's Formula Picaridin got top results in Consumer Reports testing, which found it effective in keeping mosquitoes away for up to eight hours.

Other top performers include:

• Ben's 30% DEET Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula
• Natrapel 8 Hour, with 20 percent picaridin
• Off! Deepwoods VIII, with 25 percent DEET
• Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, with 30 percent lemon eucalyptus
• Repel Scented Family, with 15 percent DEET

The Least Effective Performers:

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According to CBS News, Consumer Reports advises skipping most repellents made with natural plant oils such as lemongrass or citronella, which were not very effective in their testing.

Additional Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mosquitoes

• If you purchase clothing with insect repellent already built in, you still need to apply repellant to kill or incapacitate the bugs when they land.

• Apply sunscreen first, then bug spray―not the other way around.

• Wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants.

• Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

And if in spite of your best efforts to avoid a mosquito bite, here is how to find some relief with these 8 Home Remedies for Relieving Mosquito Bites.


CBS News “Best bug sprays for fighting Zika

Consumer Reports― “Insect Repellant Buying Guide

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