As summer nears, the arrival of the mosquitos that carry the Zika virus is an increased concern.
Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine have just released their list of the most effective insect repellents for 2016.
The testing group found that the “natural” repellents did not keep mosquitos off for very long. They looked at 16 repellents, and the ones that contained synthetic chemicals worked best.
The Zika virus can cause birth defects in pregnant women who are infected. With no vaccine for the virus and no drug to treat Zika infections, it has become devastatingly clear that avoiding mosquito bites is essential.
The top-rated brands this year:
When used properly, most of these products are safe for children and all are safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
While choosing a natural or plant-oil-based insect repellent instead of one containing DEET might seem like a good idea, Consumer Reports found otherwise.
"Five out of the six that we tested lasted only an hour and a half or even less against the Aedes mosquito, which is of course the one that carries the Zika virus," Interlandi said.
The exception -- Repel 30% Lemon Eucalyptus -- was able to ward off Aedes mosquitoes for seven hours.
In response to Consumer Reports' concerns about natural insect repellents, a trade group, the Natural Products Association, says that some plant oils do work, and some people want alternatives to DEET.
As always, don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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