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.
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):
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.
Sprays that failed (scores are out of 100):
EcoSmart Organic – 7 points
For contrast, the top pick received 96 points. Why would you not choose that one?