The best and worst products to prevent mosquito bites

The fear over mosquitoes that could be carrying Zika or West Nile virus is leading to huge sales of bug repellents, but some work better than others.

There was an over 300 percent increase in repellent sales in April compared to April of last year, according to research firm 1010data.

Expectant Dayton mother of three, Cat Chase, said she’s trying not to be scared about Zika carrying mosquitoes, but her doctor recommended she use products with DEET.

“It was a surprise because I didn’t’ think it was as prevalent here in the U.S., but I think every one is just using it to be on the safe side,” Chase said.

DEET products are also the choice of Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County.

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“We are recommending anything with 25 percent or above DEET in your product. I’ve seen some as low as nine percent. I’ve seen some as high as 98 percent, so there’s a wide range in there,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor at Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County.

The top three mosquito repellents rated excellent by Consumer Reports are Sawyer Pump spray, Ben’s Wilderness Formula aerosol spray, and Repel lemon eucalyptus pump spray.

Clip-ons, citronella candles, and backyard treatments don’t work so well, according to Suffoletto.

“A yard fogger won’t be as effective as putting it on your skin because your skin is being protected right at the source of where the mosquito is going to go to,” said Suffoletto.

Also, be wary of wearable wrist bands.

This week, The FTC announced a $300,000 settlement with the maker of Viatek Mosquito Shield Bands for failing to have scientific support to back up their claims that the product prevented mosquito bites.

As for applying bug spray, Suffoletto recommends putting on sunscreen first, then spraying an even coating of repellent on any exposed skin.

A fan placed outside can also work wonders, Suffoletto said.

“It will prevent you from having mosquitoes flying in your area because mosquitoes are not good strong fliers,” said Suffoletto.

Rachel Murray is a WHIO-TV consumer reporter. You can watch her reports on News Center 7, follow her on Twitter @RMurrayWHIO, and like her fan page on Facebook.

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