Which are the best insect repellents against Zika mosquitoes?

Consumer Reports has been kind enough to have tested and listed the insect repellents that best protect against the Zika virus-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. That includes our very own BullFrog Mosquito Coast! Well, not “very own” as in we make the stuff. But we do sell it right here at Discount Medical Supplies, where you can order medical supplies online at the guaranteed lowest price on most products. Where was I? Ah, yes. Here are the best insect repellents against Zika (in no order of importance):

Repellent

Active ingredient

Type

BullFrog Mosquito Coast

3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-amino propionic acid ethyl ester IR3535 20%.

Spray

Sawyer Fisherman's 

Picaridin 20%.

Pump spray

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus

Oil of lemon eucalyptus 30% [Approximately 65% p-menthane-3,8-diol].

Pump spray

Repel Scented Family

Deet 15%.

Aerosol spray

Natrapel 8 Hour

Picaridin 20%.

Aerosol spray

Off!Deepwoods Vlll

 Deet 25%.

Aerosol spray

Coleman SkinSmart

3-[N-butyl-acetyl]-amino propionic acid ethyl ester IR3535 20%.

Aerosol spray

Cutter Skinsations

Deet 7%

Pump spray

Cutter Natural

Geraniol 5%, soybean oil 2%, sodium lauryl sulfate 0.4%, potassium sorbate 0.1%.

Pump spray

Burt's Bees Herbal

Castor oil 10%, rosemary oil 3.77%, lemongrass oil 2.83%, cedar oil 0.94%, peppermint oil 0.76%, citronella oil 0.57%, clove oil 0.38%, geranium oil 0.19%.

Pump spray

Babyganics Natural

Soybean oil 95.89%, citronella oil 2%, rosemary oil 1.50%, lemongrass oil 0.50%, peppermint oil 0.10%, geranium oil 0.01%.

Pump spray

All Terrainkids Herbal Armor

Oil of soybean 11.5%, oil of citronella 10%, oil of peppermint 2%, oil of cedar 1.50%, oil of lemongrass 1%, oil of geranium 0.05%.

Pump spray

California Baby Natural Bug Blend

Pure essential oils of cymbopogon nardus (citronella) 5%, cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass) 0.5%, cedrus atlantica (cedar) 0.5%.

Pump spray

Off!FamilyCare ll Clean Feel

Picaridin 5%

Pump spray

Eco Smart Organic

Geraniol 1%, rosemary oil 0.5%, cinnamon oil 0.5%, lemongrass oil 0.5%,

Pump spray

 

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock with your eyes closed and your hands covering your ears, the Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that causes fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, and other symptoms, but which has also been linked to birth defects like microcephaly and disorders like Guillain-Barre syndrome in South America – especially Brazil. Therefore, the CDC has recommended to avoid travel to the affected areas (we could bother with a list, but the WHO predicts all countries with Aedes mosquito populations in the Americas – which precludes Canada and Chile – will eventually be affected, including American territories. The outbreak is expected to infect up to 4 million people). Additionally, states in the continental U.S., mostly in the South (e.g., Florida) have conditions very similar to those in Latin America that are conducive to the breeding of mosquitoes. People who to do travel to – or live in – these areas should take steps to prevent mosquito bites. Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant in particular should go out of their way to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes – seeing as how the recommended alternative is abortion.

“Using an insect repellent is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from Zika and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes,” chief of ecology and entomology activity at the CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases said. Consumer Reports advises “ skipping products made with natural plant oils, such as California Baby Natural Bug Blend and EcoSmart Organic.” Not one of these “lasted for more than 1 hour against Aedes mosquitoes, and some failed almost immediately.” The CDC recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents.

Related: DEET vs. DEET-free Insect Repellents: Zika experts explain!