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May 27, 2016

Consumer Reports Ratings: Best mosquito repellants to protect against Zika virus

As we enter mosquito season, and with it threats of the Zika virus making its way to the United States, it's becoming vital for people, especially pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant, to follow the CDC’s recommendations to avoid exposure.

In that vein, Consumer Reports just released a comprehensive list rating more than a dozen mosquito and other insect repellants, including products made with  DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, chemicals called IR3535 and 2-undecanone and natural plant oil. (Spoiler on the latter: not well rated.)

More on Zika Virus: What you need to know to avoid an outbreak here this summer

The comprehensive and interactive list rated the repellants based primarily on performance and reliability, including how well it worked to keep mosquitos away and how long the protection lasted, as well as on safety. 

The list also comes with nifty links to purchase the products online, with prices included. Though going to a nearby store would undoubtedly be faster.

Here is a breakdown of the ratings: 

For the full Consumer Reports ratings list, click here.

The top-three most effective brands that worked to protect against the Aedes mosquitoes (the kind that’s been found to carry the Zika virus) were Sawyer Picaridin, Natrapel 8 Hour and Off! Deepwoods VIII. All three products were found to keep the mosquitoes from biting for about eight hours.

RELATED: Four natural methods to help avoid mosquito exposure

Ben's 30 percent DEET Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus were also well rated, while brands that comprised mostly with IR3535 and 2-Undecananone didn’t fair very well.

Consumer Reports also advises against most products made with natural plant oils, such as California Baby Natural Bug Blend and EcoSmart Organic.

“They did not last for more than 1 hour against Aedes mosquitoes, and some failed almost immediately,” it reported.

Read more at Consumer Reports.

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