Now that the weather is heating up, Zika is on everyone’s minds. Protecting yourself from mosquito bites definitely needs to be a priority, and using bug spray is a great start.

However, according to Consumer Reports, not all bug sprays are equal. In fact, several household brands failed their tests.

That’s right; your favorite bug spray might not be as trusty as you think.

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The recommended brands have specific levels of key ingredients. CR recommends finding a product with one of these key ingredients at this specific concentration. More can be dangerous in some cases, and less can be significantly less effective.

  • 15-30% DEET
  • 20% picaridin
  • 30% lemon eucalyptus oil

So there are choices — you don’t need all of these ingredients (and you don’t have to use a product with DEET), just one to be effective, but make sure to check the concentration.

Here are their recommended sprays (with best scoring sprays at the top):

Sawyer Picaridin
Ben’s 30% Deet Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus
Repel Scented Family
Natrapel 8 Hour
Off! Deepwoods Vlll

Another important takeaway to note is that the only natural bug spray that worked used lemon eucalyptus oil. So be sure to look for that in the ingredients list when shopping.

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Sprays that failed (scores are out of 100):

Cutter skinsations – 33 points
Cutter Natural – 29 points
Burts Bees – 28 points
Off! Brand Family Care Clean Feel – 18 points
EcoSmart Organic – 7 points
Flickr / Morag Riddell
Jessie Taylor is a freelance writer and crafter who is currently traveling the U.S. in search of her ideal place to live and the perfect cup of coffee. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.
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