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Which insect repellent works best?

Consumer Reports enlists real mosquitoes and real people to test repellents

A bug bite can leave more than just an itchy bump. Mosquitoes can spread diseases like the West Nile virus, and ticks can transmit many diseases, including Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Consumer Reports explains that the best offense is a good defense, which includes using insect repellent that keeps pests away.

Every year, Consumer Reports tests lotions, sprays, and wipes, including plant-based repellents, on real people using real mosquitoes to find the best insect repellents.

A repellent fails if a mosquito bites twice in one five-minute session. Or if there’s one bite in each of two consecutive five-minute sessions.

Consumer Reports currently tests repellents against only mosquitoes, but in past years, it has found that repellents that work well against mosquitoes also tend to work well against ticks.

The results: the most effective repellents against mosquitoes and ticks contain 25% to 30% DEET as their active ingredient.

At the top of Consumer Reports ratings, Ben's Tick & Insect Repellent Wipes, Ben's Tick & Insect Repellent Wilderness Formula Pump, and 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent8. All excel in protection.

If you’re concerned about using DEET, consider this…Consumer Reports ratings include over 50 repellents and more than 20 recommended ones, so it should be easy to find a way to beat the bugs that’s right for you.”

A bug bite can leave more than just an itchy bump. Mosquitoes can spread diseases like the West Nile virus, and ticks can transmit many diseases, including Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Consumer Reports explains that the best offense is a good defense, which includes using insect repellent that keeps pests away.

Every year, Consumer Reports tests lotions, sprays, and wipes, including plant-based repellents, on real people using real mosquitoes to find the best insect repellents.

A repellent fails if a mosquito bites twice in one five-minute session. Or if there’s one bite in each of two consecutive five-minute sessions.

Consumer Reports currently tests repellents against only mosquitoes, but in past years, it has found that repellents that work well against mosquitoes also tend to work well against ticks.

The results: the most effective repellents against mosquitoes and ticks contain 25% to 30% DEET as their active ingredient.

Kontinye aprann plis sou fason sou kòman yo kenbe marengwen ak tik lwen ete sa a isit la.

DÈNYE MIZAJOU

May 29, 2024

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Rapò konsomatè yo

Medya Mansyone soti nan Rapò Konsomatè

Rapò konsomatè yo travay yo kreye yon mache ki jis ak jis mache pou tout moun. Kòm yon misyon-kondwi, òganizasyon manm san bi likratif, CR otorize ak enfòme konsomatè yo, enplike kòporasyon yo aji responsab, epi ede politik yo priyorize dwa yo ak enterè nan konsomatè yo nan lòd yo fòme yon mache vrèman kondwi-kondwi.

Eksplore Plis kontni

Medya Mansyone

Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

Medya Mansyone

Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton
Contributor

Medya Mansyone

I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis