What Is The Best Insect Repellent Without All The Harmful Chemicals: Consumer Report

By Staff Reporter - 14 May '15 00:24AM

Summer time is just around the corner and with that, comes mosquitoes and ticks. Consumer Reports tested 15 sprays to find the safest, most effective repellents.

According to the report, the best performing products included Sawyers Fisherman's Formula, whose active ingredient was 20 percent picaridin; and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, which contained 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus to keep bugs at bay.

Its testing found both kept mosquitos and deer ticks away for at least seven hours. Two products with DEET also received a "recommended" rating: Repel Scented Family with 15 percent DEET and Off Deep Woods 8 with 25 percent DEET.

"All repellents should be used sparingly and only for the time you need them-especially on children and older people," said Ellen Kunes, Consumer Reports' health and food content development team leader, in a statement.

In order to reach these conclusions, researchers enlisted the help of some brave testers-the "swat team," they called them-who were spritzed with different repellents, left to sit for 30 minutes, and then told to reach into a cage with 200 mosquitoes hungry for blood (but free of diseases).

"Look first for products with 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus," the report advised. "We think they're safer than those with deet." If deet is your only option, aim for a concentration of about 15 percent, which even outperformed the product with 25 percent. In concentrations more than 30 percent, deet might be dangerous, the authors conclude.

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