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Keeping Mosquitoes At Bay: Which Bug Spray Is Best For Your Family?

CBS2/WLNY EXTRAS

NEW YORK (WLNY) – Spending time outside in the summer can be enjoyable – except for those pesky mosquitoes.

With so many kinds of repellants out there, it can be tough to know which is the right kind for you and your family. A study found details on which bug spray is best to stop the bite, CBS 2’s Katie McGee reports.

Researchers at Texas A&M University tested four types of products said to repel mosquitoes:

  • Off, the popular spray which contains 15 percent DEET, the powerful insecticide
  • BioUD, a new, all-natural DEET alternative
  • A Citronella-covered band, new to the market this season
  • Skin So Soft, the Avon lotion long touted as a mosquito repellant

Researchers said the products have differing levels of effectiveness. They applied the protectants to filter paper to test the mosquitoes’ reactions to each repellant.

“[We were] kind of simulating what we would apply to our own skin,” one researcher said.

The papers were placed inside containers with swarming mosquitoes.  After blowing on the mosquitoes to disturb them, researchers counted how many flew away from the filter paper.  The less mosquitoes on the filter paper, the better the repellant.

BioUD topped the list of effective products, with Off coming in a close second.

“I would say both the DEET and BioUD definitely had very similar levels of efficacy,” said Dr. Hamer, a researcher at Texas A&M.

According to the study, the citronella band and “Skin So Soft” also repelled mosquitoes, but not as effectively as “BioUD” and “Off.”

Avon’s brand public relations senior manager sent CBS 2 News a statement, saying, “The Skin So Soft moisturizing lotion used in this report is not intended to repel mosquitoes, is not sold for that purpose, and is not approved by the EPA as a repellent. Avon does offer several insect repellents, including Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus line of products. These products are approved by the EPA for use as insect repellents, and they contain active ingredients that are effective deterrents against mosquitoes.”

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