As the weather warms and the days grow longer, adults and children can enjoy more time outside. Just as it is important to remember to use sunscreen to prevent burning and possible skin cancer, it is also essential to apply a good insect repellent. Mosquitoes can cause more than the occasional itching bump. Ssome carry the West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis. Insect repellents also protect against ticks which have been known to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. In a recent Consumer Report, several insect repellents were tested and rated based on the number of hours they were effective and the active ingredient. These are the best five for everyday consumers.
Off Deep Woods Sportsmen II –At $1.25 per ounce, this repellent ranked number 1 on the Consumer Report. While it did last over 8 hours against mosquitoes and ticks, it contains 30 percent deet. This is the cheapest of the top 5.
Cutter Backwoods Unscented – With 23 percent deet, this product also maintains effectiveness for over 8 hours against mosquitoes and ticks. It costs slightly more, at $1.33 per ounce.
Off Family Care Smooth & Dry – With the lowest deet level at 15 percent, Off Family Care still offers the user over 8 hours of resistance against mosquitoes and ticks. It costs $1.63 per ounce.
3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 8 – Containing the second highest percentage of deet (25 percent), 3M Ultrathon repellent offers over 8 hours of effectiveness against both pests.
Natrapel 8 Hour with picaridin – While this product costs $2.00 per ounce, making it the most expensive, it has the benefit of containing picaridin instead of deet. Picaridin is a natural alternative that is much gentler on the skin than deet. While Natrapel 8 Hour with picaridin is a healthier option, it is slightly less effective against certain mosquitoes, while still offering over 8 hours of protection against ticks.