Before taking that deliberate walk in the woods, you should ponder the ingredients in your bug spray, says Consumer Reports.
In a report released in time for the 4th of July weekend, the non-profit urged those who want to prevent mosquito or tick bites stick to products that contain deet, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
“There’s a mind-boggling number of choices that you have to make,” Joe Conlon, a former Navy entomologist and technical adviser to the American Mosquito Control Association was quoted in the report.
“And it’s actually very important to pick the right product because it will be your best defense against some very serious diseases.”
The study’s author, Janeen Interlandi, said 25 brands of repellent were tested on real skin in the lab. The products were rated on how long they lasted and if there was residual damage or interaction with fabric or nail polish.
“We found that the type and concentration of active ingredient were the common denominators in the products that worked best as well as in those that did poorly,” she said.
The group gave its highest ratings to CVS generic spray brand, Total Home Wood Scent Insect Repellent and a lotion called Sawyer Ultra 30 Insect Repellent – both of which contain deet.
“That suggests that when it comes to effectiveness, what matters most isn’t the brand name or whether it’s a lotion or spray, but rather the type and concentration of active ingredient.”
OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent came in a close second and Repel, which boasts that its key ingredient is the plant-based lemon eucalyptus, was third.
Products that didn’t test well this year, according to the report, included The Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent lotion, which contains 20 percent picaridin.
Although the Sawyer Picaridin spray continues to be recommended and provides up to seven hours of protection, the report said the lotion didn’t perform nearly as well worked for less than an hour.
Credit: NY Post