Tag Archives: Insect Repellents

Latest ConsumerReports ratings for INSECT REPELLENTS ~ LONE STAR TICK invading MICHIGAN ~ SOUTH CAROLINA vets urge HORSE owners to vaccinate against EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ DEER tests positive for RABIES in FLORIDA ~ ALASKAN survives BROWN BEAR attack.


Global 2016 consumerreports.org: Consumer Reports’ tests have found several insect repellents that provide excellent or very good protection against mosquito and tick bites. Consumer Reports’ insect repellent reviews will give you honest advice that you can trust. Use their insect repellent buying guide to discover what to consider, including whether you need protection from mosquitoes or ticks, or both pests, and how long you’re going to be out of doors. They also provide unbiased insect repellent Ratings and reviews to help you choose the best insect repellent for your needs, including whether you should buy a product containing the ingredient deet. That chemical can help keep mosquitoes and ticks away, but our safety experts worry that the products might pose risks to people and the environment. Recommended insect repellents are both aerosols and pump sprays, and all provide at least five hours of protection against bites from Aedes and Culex mosquitoes and deer ticks. – See http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/insect-repellent.htm

Lonestartick.usda.A female Lone Star tick is on the right, a male is on the left.

Lone Star Tick – Female on left, male on right.

Michigan 05/23/16 mlive.com: by John Agar –  A tick that can cause meat allergies is turning up in Michigan more frequently, an entomologist says. The Lone Star tick, found in the South and eastern part of the U.S, was once rarely found Michigan’s Lower Peninsula but is now becoming more common, the Associated Press reports. It is a concern because it appears to cause a meat allergy for some who get bit, Howard Russell, a Michigan State University Extension entomologist, told the Times Herald of Port Huron. He told the newspaper that he has received almost daily complaints about the ticks. Jean Tsao, an associate professor in the Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, says Lone Star ticks have been moving to the North, the AP reported. According to MSU Diagnostic Services, Amblyomma americanum gets its common name because a silvery spot on females looks to some to be shaped like Texas. The bite is considered “quite severe,” and is followed inflammation and lesions. It is linked to tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a bacterial disease. It is not known to spread Lyme Disease. – See http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/05/tick_that_can_cause_meat_aller.html

thumbnailCAL5IYPMSouth Carolina 05/24/16 wfxg.com: by Dal Kalsi – South Carolina veterinary officials are urging horse owners to vaccinate their animals after an unusually early case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis was discovered on the coast, according to a report from Clemson University. “This is the earliest in the spring that we’ve seen this disease in many years,” said Adam Eichelberger, a veterinarian overseeing animal health programs for Clemson University Livestock-Poultry Health.  He said a horse in Horry County was euthanized after becoming infected with the mosquito-borne illness in horses that can also affect humans. In unvaccinated horses, Eastern Equine Encephalitis is almost always fatal. “Nine of 10 exposed, unvaccinated horses will succumb to the disease. However, with proper vaccine use the risk of disease is minimized,” Eichelberger said. – For complete article see http://www.wfxg.com/story/32051724/sc-horse-vaccinations-against-deadly-mosquito-borne-illness

White-tailed deer fawn_NPSFlorida 05/27/16 wfla.com:  Health officials have issued a rabies alert in a Sarasota subdivision after a deer tested positive for rabies. The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County received laboratory confirmation on Monday, May 23,of rabies in a fawn that was found by a property owner in the Myakka Valley Ranches Subdivision on Monday, May 16. A local veterinarian who lives in the area considered that this low-risk animal could be rabid. She recalled that Sarasota County had two low-risk goats test positive for rabies last spring. There was no obvious injury to the fawn. However, the animal was showing signs of illness including twitching in the face, poor muscular coordination, salivating and had no apparent fear of humans. The deer was euthanized and tested positive for rabies. At this point, authorities are not sure how the deer contracted rabies. DOH-Sarasota has issued a rabies alert for 60-days in the Myakka Valley Ranches Subdivision.

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alaska 05/22/16 abcnews.go.com: by Aditi Roy and Emily Shapiro – An Alaska man says he feels lucky to be alive after coming face-to-face with a brown bear and surviving its terrifying attack. Kenny Steck, his wife Hannah and six family members were hiking in Southeastern Alaska May 13 when he encountered the predator while filling up water bottles. Steck, an experienced outdoorsman, had left his bear repellent back at camp. The massive animal then came charging at him. “It was a feeling of complete hopelessness and helplessness, really. I felt like I couldn’t do anything to make it stop or make the outcome change,” he told ABC News today. When Steck lifted his leg up to protect himself, the bear clawed it. He tried yelling, but the bear crushed his shoulder and put Steck’s head in his mouth. “All I could do was just hope and pray,” he said. “It was terrifying.” Then suddenly the bear let go and ran away. Luckily, his wife and three other family members on the trip are nurses and were able to treat his wounds right away. Steck suffered injuries to his leg, shoulder and head, but the bear miraculously avoided his skull, his wife Hannah said. He’s expected to make a full recovery. – For complete article, photos and  video see http://abcnews.go.com/US/man-survives-terrifying-bear-attack-alaska-miracle-wife/story?id=39289589


Bill Gates declares this week MOSQUITO WEEK ~ LYME DISEASE on the rise in CANADA ~ Consumer Reports INSECT REPELLENT ratings ~ FOLLOW-UP: Infections in VIRGINIA were not HANTAVIRUS.


Global 04/26/14 mashable.com: by Bill Gates – This week over at my blog, TheGatesNotes, we’re hosting Mosquito Week. It’s modeled on the Discovery Channel’s annual fear-fest, Shark Week. But compared to mosquitoes, sharks are wimps. In fact, when it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. Take a look: (see above). For many of us, mosquitoes might seem more pests than predators. But in a large part of the world, particularly among the poor, mosquitoes are a blight. There are more than 2,500 species of mosquito, and they’re found in every region of the world except Antarctica. During the peak breeding seasons, they outnumber every other animal on Earth, except termites and ants. Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. So we’re taking a lesson from the sharks, and hosting Mosquito Week on the Gates Notes. Everything I’m posting this week is dedicated to this deadly creature. You can learn about the ingenious researchers who may have found a way to combat dengue fever by inoculating not people, but mosquitoes. (Somehow this story involved me offering up my bare arm to a cage full of hungry mosquitoes so they could feed on my blood.) You can read a first-hand account of what it’s like to have malaria and hear from an inspiring Tanzanian scientist who’s fighting it. And I’ve shared a few thoughts about why I’m still optimistic that we can eradicate this disease, which would be one of the greatest accomplishments in health ever. In an average year, sharks kill a half dozen people. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people. Seemed worth paying attention to. So, I hope you’ll have a look around. I can’t promise that Anopheles Gambiae will be quite as exciting as hammerheads and Great Whites. But maybe you’ll come away with a new appreciation for these flying masters of mayhem.

Lyme Disease:

lyme-awareness5128Canada 04/27/14 theglobeandmail.com: by Adriana Barton – Most Canadians think of Lyme disease as a rare illness that afflicts hikers bitten by ticks in the deep woods. Infected individuals develop a bull’s-eye rash and go on antibiotics for a few weeks to clear it up. Problem solved The trouble with this picture – promoted for years by Canadian health authorities – is that it does not begin to capture the true threat of Lyme disease, which in its chronic form can turn into a life sentence of debilitating joint pain and neurological problems. Disease-carrying ticks in Canada have increased tenfold in the past two decades, spread by migratory birds and nurtured by warming climates that allow them to thrive in our own backyards. While reported cases jumped 146 per cent between 2009 and 2012, advocates say that testing is inadequate and doctors lack awareness of Lyme, resulting in gross underreporting and underdiagnosis of this rapidly emerging infectious disease. Jim Wilson, president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme), says Canada lags far behind the United States in testing for the multiple strains of bacteria that can cause Lyme. Canadian tests and clinical exams are “way too narrowly focused for what we’re running into in the wild,” Wilson said. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), only 315 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2012. The actual number is likely in the thousands, Wilson said, noting that 3,000 patients contact his organization each year. A 2013 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year – 10 times the reported number of 30,000. – For complete article see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/lyme-disease-on-the-rise-in-canada-linked-to-ticks/article18232442/

Insect Repellent Ratings:

Consumer_Reports_Insect_Repellents_Update_5-13See http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/05/best-way-to-stop-bug-bites/index.htm

Follow-Up Report:


(See HANTAVIRUS suspected in six VIRGINIA infections, two fatal – post dated April 29, 2014)

microscope8776dVIRGINIA 04/30/14 Pulaski County: by Jacob Demmitt – The illness that hospitalized a Snowville family of five — killing two — was not hantavirus as previously suspected, according to health officials. Instead, it was a combination of two common and treatable illnesses — influenza B and strep A — that together claimed the lives of Julie Simpkins and her 14-year-old daughter, Ginger Simpkins, on April 25. Individually, neither the flu nor strep cause tremendous concern, but together they are “extremely, extremely rare” and serious, New River Health District Director Molly O’Dell said. During a media teleconference on Wednesday, O’Dell said both the flu and strep are circulating in the region, but there doesn’t seem to be any threat to the community because it is so rare to become infected with both simultaneously. The health department has not made an official cause of death finding – that can come only from the medical examiner’s office – but health officials on Wednesday’s call talked about how the combination  of flu and strep could be deadly. Doctors have not identified anyone else in the area who has been co-infected, O’Dell said. No one in the Simpkins family had received a flu shot, and all five members tested positive for the flu and showed signs of strep. It’s impossible to know where they picked it up or if they contracted both at the same time, O’Dell said. “A lot of times what we’ll say in medicine is just because you have one thing doesn’t mean you can’t have another, a second thing,” she said. “So if someone gets influenza, it certainly makes them more vulnerable to pick up bacterial infections.” The kind of co-infection that struck the Simpkinses is so rare that it hasn’t been studied by scientists, and only about 10 cases have ever been reported in all the medical literature Tom Kerkering, Carilion’s chief of infectious diseases, could find. “I’ve been doing infectious diseases for 35 years. This is the first time I’ve seen the combination,” Kerkering said during the teleconference. – For complete article see http://www.roanoke.com/news/rare-combination-of-flu-and-strep-killed-members-of-pulaski/article_b11e22fa-d0ad-11e3-8801-0017a43b2370.html

FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: CALIFORNIA Fish&Game officials spot lone GRAY WOLF called OR-7 hanging out with COYOTES ~ OKLAHOMA WOMAN recovering from ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER ~ PENNSYLVANIA finds MOSQUITO carrying WEST NILE VIRUS ~ PLANTS said to repel MOSQUITOES ~ RABIES reports from GA, ME, MA, NC, TX, & WY.

Gray wolf. Photo by Tiia Monto. Wikimedia Commons.

Follow-Up Reports:

(Please use this blog’s Archives search engine for a history of OR-7′s previous adventures.)

OR-7. Photo by Richard Shinn for California Department of Fish & Game.

California 05/10/12 sfgate.com: by Jeff Barnard – A young male wolf from Oregon that won fame trekking cross-country looking for a mate has had what appears to be his first close encounter with people, and got his picture taken, to boot. The California Department of Fish and Game said a federal trapper, a state game warden and a state wildlife biologist were visiting ranchers in Modoc County on Tuesday to notify them that GPS signals showed the wolf OR-7 was nearby. Program Manager Karen Kovacs says when they stopped to look over a sagebrush hillside with binoculars, there was OR-7, hanging out with coyotes, keeping his distance from the humans, but definitely curious about them. Biologist Richard Shinn snapped a color photo. It’s on the department’s wolf website: 1.usa.gov/IWs2pL The wolf left northeastern Oregon last September.

Oklahoma 05/08/12 Wagoner, Wagoner County: A local woman is recovering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever contracted from a tick bite of which she was totally unaware. About two weeks ago she got a rash and a headache, and felt sick. The next day she saw a tiny tick on her stomach. – See http://www.news9.com/story/18236976/wagoner-woman-warns-others-after-contracting-tick-borne-illness

Pennsylvania 05/10/12 Exeter, Berks County: A mosquito carrying the West Nile virus has been detected earlier than usual in Pennsylvania this year. DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said the virus-carrying insects usually don’t show up until June. – See http://delcotimes.com/articles/2012/05/10/news/doc4fac27027b5f9487073520.txt


Global 05/08/12 livinggreenmag.com: For a list of plants said to repel mosquitoes, see http://livinggreenmag.com/2012/05/08/home-garden/keep-mosquitos-away-with-plants/

Georgia 05/09/12 Morganton, Fannin County: A fox that attacked and bit a woman walking her dog on Dennis Drive last Friday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/may/09/fox-attacked-morganton-ga-woman-tested-positive-ra/?breakingnews

Maine 05/10/12 Clinton, Kennebec County: A raccoon that was shot by police after a resident on River Road called to say it was acting aggressively has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.kjonline.com/news/Rabies-case-confirmed-in-Kennebec-County.html

Massachusetts 05/10/12 Pittsfield, Berkshire County: A gray fox that attacked a 14-year-old girl, an 84-year-old woman, and a dog last Friday, all in the vicinity of upper Williams Street, has tested positive for rabies. Police killed the fox on Harryel Street. – See http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_20583125/fox-that-attacked-2-people-tests-positive-rabies

North Carolina 05/09/12 Liberty, Guilford & Randolph counties: A rabies alert has been issued by health officials after a raccoon that was in contact with a dog tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/228174/57/Third-Case-Of-Animal-Rabies-In-Guilford-County

Texas 05/09/12 Magnolia, Montgomery County: A dead bat found on the playground at Cedric C. Smith Elementary School has tested positive for rabies. Officials said the bat had been handled by a few of the students. – See http://www.click2houston.com/news/Rabid-bat-found-at-elementary-school/-/1735978/12999962/-/67j9lh/-/

Wyoming 05/10/12 Sheridan, Sheridan County: A bat found in the Perkins parking lot on Coffeen Avenue has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.sheridanmedia.com/news/rabid-bat-found-coffeen33433

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.