5 On Your Side

Fight off ticks, mosquitoes

Posted June 1, 2020 3:36 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2020 5:15 p.m. EDT

Coronavirus is top of mind, but summer brings other health risks.

5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte says don't forget we're also battling ticks and mosquitoes.

The right insect repellents can help.

Mosquito

Consumer Reports recently tested insect repellent sprays, lotions and wipes to find those that work best.

"The number of bug-borne diseases like West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is increasing, and the number of places in the U.S. that they're spreading to is also on the rise," said Catherine Roberts, Consumer Reports' Health Editor.

Tests show products that are effective against mosquitoes, also work on ticks.

Look for DEET in the ingredients.

Many of the highest-rated repellents contain concentrations of 15% to 30%.

CR's two top rated are Ben's Tick and Insect Repellent Wipes and Total Home Woodland Scent Insect Repellent.

CR's experts say DEET is safe when used as directed, but if looking for something more natural, know those with essential oils all rated "Poor" for mosquito protection.

A better option, CR says, products that contain 20% picaridin or 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Research suggests both are safe, though oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than 3 years old.

5 On Your Side says something else to consider is how long it lasts.

CR says some of the top-rated products provided several hours of protection, some of the lowest-scoring ones failed in as little as 30 minutes.

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