Insect Repellent: What Works and What Doesn't? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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Insect Repellent: What Works and What Doesn't?

With the West Nile Virus outbreak getting worse in Louisiana, and new cases popping up in Texas, more people are much more aware of the disease. So what can you do to keep those pesky mosquitoes away?

For one thing, get rid of any containers holding water. If you have a pool, treat it with the right chemicals, and wear insect repellent. But, you should know not all of them are reliable.

With so many insect repellents out there, you might be surprised what works well and what doesn't. Researchers at the New England Journal of Medicine put some products to the test, including Avon's Skin so Soft and Off!

The study said : "all botanical repellents (including Skin So Soft with Citronella) gave very short-lived protection from three to 20 minutes."

Researchers say if you are in an area with mosquito-borne diseases that can be passed on through a single bite, it is a good idea to use insect repellent with Deet. The study said it protects anywhere from 88 minutes to 300 minutes depending on the concentration.

Dr. Ronald Rapini says Deet can be toxic to babies. "If you have a baby, and you put Deet over its entire body, you are going to have more toxicity," said Dr. Rapini, with Texas Tech University Department of Dermatology.

For children, pay attention to the percentage of Deet in the bottle. "Kids with 10% or 20% Deet is less of a problem, when you get up to 50% to 100% Deet, that's more trouble," said Dr. Rapini.

For the average person, Dr. Rapini says Deet is effective. "It's safe, and rarely does anyone have a problem with it. If you use it on a small amount of your body, like your hands, the average person has no problem at all," said Dr. Rapini.

The study also said those insect repellent wristbands that have either Deet or Citronella, don't work either.

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