Consumer Reports tests 16 bug sprays - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Consumer Reports tests 16 bug sprays

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes float in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (Source: Associated Press) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes float in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (Source: Associated Press)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Although there are 544 cases of the Zika virus reported in the U.S, there are likely thousands more where the patient has no symptoms. The biggest concern with Zika mosquitoes is the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.

Meanwhile, there are new questions about bug sprays and the level of protection they offer.

This comes as Consumer Reports reveals it tested 16 popular insect repellants and found that while many can ward off West Nile for up to 8 hours, more than a third of the brands lasted only an hour or less against the mosquito that can spread Zika.

For pregnant women worried about chemicals, consumer reports shows only one Natural product made the top three against zika mosquitoes: Repel with oil of lemon eucalyptus.  

Trisha Calvo at Consumer Reports says "Except for oil of lemon eucalyptus, in our tests we didn't find that any of the natural insect repellents worked very well. None of them kept mosquitoes away for longer than a hour." 

But Calvo says there are some effective ingredients that are simply misunderstood. She says "People tend to think that the natural products are safer, but the three ingredients that we found to be effective, Deet, Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus, they're safe for everybody for children, for pregnant women, for everyone."

The study also found that what matters is concentration. If using Deet, for example, look for 15 to 30 percent.

In addition to the lemon eucalyptus, consumer reports says the most effective repellants it tested include Sawyer Picaridin and Ben's 30 percent Deet Tick and Insect Wilderness Formula.

As for a Zika vaccine, researchers say they're still months away from a trial vaccine and a wide roll-out could be two years away.

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