NBC 5 Responds

Looking for insect repellent? Here are Consumer Reports' recommendations

It's that time of the year when it's hard to avoid mosquitoes, ticks and other pests.

While very tiny, these bugs can leave more than an itchy bump.

Mosquitoes can spread diseases like the West Nile virus, and ticks can transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. So, to best stay protected and keep the pests away, you might want to consider an insect repellent.

Every year, Consumer Reports tests lotions, sprays, and wipes, including plant-based repellents, on real people using real mosquitoes to find the best insect repellents. Here's how the tests work:

A repellent fails if a mosquito bites twice in one 5-minute session. Or if there’s one bite in each of two consecutive 5-minute sessions.

Results showed the most effective repellents against mosquitoes and ticks contain 25 to 30 percent Deet as their active ingredient.

The highest rated ones were:

  • Ben's Tick & Insect Repellent Wipes
  • Ben's Tick & Insect Repellent Wilderness Formula Pump
  • 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent

“Our ratings include over 50 repellents and more than 20 recommended ones, so it should be easy to find a way to beat the bugs that’s right for you," said Catherine Roberts with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports found products with 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus as good alternatives, such as - Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Pump.

A few high scorers also contain 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent Pump. Correctly applying the repellent is just as important as the kind you use.

Follow the directions on the label, and use a thin coat on all exposed skin. You can also spray on top of your clothes, but don’t apply under your clothing.

Contact Us