NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Zika virus has the world’s attention as the mosquito-borne virus keeps spreading around the globe.
But now, bug sprays are available that can stop mosquitoes from transmitting the dangerous virus. Consumer Reports put 16 bug sprays to the test to see which ones are the most effective.
“In a laboratory, very brave volunteers put their arms into a cage full of 200 disease-free mosquitoes and we use two types of mosquitoes,” Trisha Calvo, of Consumer Reports, said. “One is the Culex mosquito that carries West Nile and the other is the Aedes mosquito that carries Zika.”
The seemingly simple — but painful — test had great results, CBS2’s Alex Denis reported.
“We found three ingredients that are safe for everyone to use, even pregnant women, and are very effective. And those are Deet, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and Picaridin,” Calvo said.
Sawyer Picaridin got great results, followed by Ben’s Wilderness’ 30 percent DEET. Both kept mosquitoes away for up to eight hours.
But even if you use these deterrents or purchase clothing with bug repellent already built in, keep in mind — bugs may still come to you.
“Instead, they [bug sprays] kill or incapacitate the bugs when they land. And hopefully that happens before the mosquitoes bite you,” Calvo said.
If you do wear bug repellent clothing, Consumer Reports says you should also use bug spray to keep the mosquitoes away.
Earlier this week, the New York City Health Department also issued a West Nile warning after they found the virus in mosquitoes on Staten Island.
An experimental vaccine for the Zika virus is due to begin human testing in coming weeks, after getting the green light from U.S. health officials.