6 Insect Repellents Get High Marks – Consumer Reports Health Tests the Ability of Bug Repellents to Keep Insects at Bay

Off Deepwoods Sportsmen II

By Bill Hendrick – WebMD Health News – Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

May 25, 2010 — Consumer Reports Health has issued a new ranking of the six repellents it says are best to ward off mosquitoes and deer ticks.

The magazine says it tested 10 insect repellents in an outside laboratory, where volunteers let deer ticks crawl on them and also exposed themselves to mosquitoes.

Cutter Backwoods Unscented

Six of these repellents earned a “recommended” rating from Consumer Reports. These six repellents, along with their active ingredients and cost, are:

  • Off Deep Woods Sportsmen II; 30% DEET; cost: $1.25 an ounce.
  • Cutter Backwoods Unscented; 23% DEET; cost: $1.33 per ounce.
  • Off FamilyCare Smooth & Dry; 15% DEET; cost:  $1.63 an ounce.
  • 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellant 8; 25% DEET; $1.67 per ounce.
  • Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus; active ingredient oil of lemon eucalyptus; cost: $1.94 an ounce.
  • Natrapel 8-Hour with picaridin; 20% picaridin; cost: $2.00 an ounce.

Others tested included:

  • Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard plus IR3535 Expedition SPF 30, active ingredient IR3535; cost: $3.50 per ounce.

    3M Ultrathon

  • Bite Blocker Xtreme (organic); Plant oils are listed as the active ingredient; cost: $1.34 per ounce.
  • Cutter Skinsations Clean Fresh Scent; 7% DEET; cost: $1.04 per ounce. 
  • Burt’s Bees All Natural Herbal; active ingredient plant oils; cost: $2.00 per ounce.

Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus

Consumer Reports Health

says that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has judged DEET to be safe when used as directed, but that it has caused rare toxic reactions when not used as instructed. The EPA also says DEET shouldn’t be applied to babies less than 2 months old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised against using repellents

Natrapel 8-Hour

 with DEET concentrations higher than 30% on any kids. And Consumer Reports Health says no one should use a repellent with more than 30% DEET.

Off Family Care Smooth-and-Dry

The top six repellents protected against deer ticks and mosquitoes for seven hours or more, Consumer Reports says in a news release.

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One response to “6 Insect Repellents Get High Marks – Consumer Reports Health Tests the Ability of Bug Repellents to Keep Insects at Bay

  1. I have tried the Repel Lemon Eucalyptus product and I LOVE it! Not only does it smell better than DEET products I have used in the past, but it really does a good job keeping the bugs away. I highly recommend it.

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