Bug Repellents That Don't Work

May 30, 2018

Mosquitoes, wasps and flies have all had their coming out party and have invited themselves to your outdoor activities! While we spray repellent, burn citronella candles and plug in bug zappers not all bug repellents are equal and according to Consumer Reports, many simply do not work at all. Natural repellents, those that use clove or lemongrass or rosemary oil sounds like a safe alternative to DEET products, you never know what you're gonna get. Natural repellents are regulated differently than other repellent products. Because the EPA deems the chemicals they contain harmless, the agency does not evaluate them for effectiveness. It creates a loophole in which companies do not have to prove that they actually work. While DEET products offer protection for up to 10 hours, natural repellent that do work generally last an hour or less. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the EPA both say that DEET is safe when used properly, even for children and pregnant women. Wristbands are marketed as being safer because you do not apply it to your skin, tests have shown them to be ineffective. Last may the FTC find a wristband repellant company $300,000 for claiming their wristbands protected against mosquitoes when they had no scientific proof. Ultrasonic devices claim to emit high-frequency sounds that are too high for humans to hear but are just the right frequency to drive pests, including mosquitoes, away. The trouble is, there's no proof that they work. The same for clip-on fans. Tests of a popular clip-on repellent that uses a tiny fan to dispense the chemical metofluthrin (which is classified by the EPA as a neurotoxin and as a potential carcinogen) into the air around you, was far less effective than DEET. While the smell of citronella candles remind us of summer's past, they are ineffective at keeping mosquitoes away and in some studies actually attract pests! When it comes down to it, nothing works as well as DEET. In the 61 years it has been approved for human use, there have been less than 50 cases of serious reactions or negative health benefits. Adults should not use anything over a 30% solution with children using no more than 10% and reapply according to the instructions on the bottle.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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