Thursday is the Fourth of July! It’s a time we will gather together with our families and friends; celebrating living in the world’s best country. We will commemorate our nation’s independence by waving flags at parades, cooling off in swimming pools, woofing down tons of hotdogs and potato salad at BBQ’s, and cap the day off by lighting or watching vibrant fireworks.
With all of the day’s festivities, the last thing you want to worry about is blood-sucking pests like mosquitoes and ticks. One of the best ways to keep these irritating bugs from ruining your holiday is to wear a good insect repellant when you are outdoors. With so many bug sprays on the market today, we are all left wondering which ones work the best; and which ones will simply drain our wallets and offer no relieve from flying pests.
Here are the top five best and worst mosquito repellants:
Top 5 Best Mosquito Repellants
Consumer Reports recently released their ranking for the best mosquito repellants on the market today. Factors used to determine the mosquito repellant rankings include: cost per ounce, percentage of active ingredient (DEET) hours of effectiveness, and damage to materials. Here are the rankings:
Note: Only four of the top five mosquito repellants offered protection for eight hours or more. Non-coincidently, these four repellants also contained the active ingredient DEET in varying levels; the most effective mosquito repellant on the market.
Top 5 Worst Mosquito Repellants
GoodGuide also recently released their mosquito repellant rankings based on health, environment, and society factors. They count the number of ingredients in each product that are categorized as low, medium or high health concern; and then factor in other negative information (such as regulatory restrictions) and any available positive information (such as third-party certifications) to assign product scores. Here are the five worst mosquito products as determined by GoodGuide:
Note: It’s important to note that all of the tested products will keep the mosquitoes from biting if you’re going to be outside for only a short period of time. Look for a highly rated product to protect you on longer excursions.
How Mosquito Repellants Were Tested
For these insect repellent reviews, courageous testers at an outside lab bared their arms in mosquito-filled cages and also let ticks crawl on them. Scientists recorded how long it took for mosquitoes to start biting and for ticks to crawl over treated areas.
Factors used to determine the mosquito repellant rankings include: cost per ounce, percentage of active ingredient (DEET) hours of effectiveness, damage to materials, and the health, environmental, and social performance of products and companies.
There are currently some 176 different species of mosquitoes living here in the United States; all sharing one common characteristicâ€¦ They are irritating! One common misconception about mosquitoes is that they all bite and suck blood. The truth is, it’s only the adult female mosquitoes that have a long piercing mouthpart needed to suck blood. She does so in order to provide for her future brood of mosquitoes. Males differ from females by having feathery antennae and mouthparts not suitable for piercing skin. A mosquito’s principal food is nectar or similar sugar source.
One unfortunate characteristic about the mosquito is that they can carry the deadly West Nile Virus. The Center for Disease Control urges the public to take precautions when outdoors. Make sure you wear an insect repellent with DEET; dress in clothing that covers as much skin as possible, and completely avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn if at all possible.
To stop mosquitoes from breeding on your property, make sure to eliminate any standing water like in puddles, in kiddie pools, in tire swings, and in bird fountains. The easiest way to remove mosquitoes on your property is to kill their larva. Mosquito dunks, or larvicides, are dropped into water killing larva and stopping mosquitoes from laying their eggs. Treatments last for 30 days and cover 100 square feet regardless of depth. Pest control professionals can also spray your property frequently to help control the mosquito population.
Have a happy and mosquito free Fourth of July!