Top 5 Best & Worst Mosquito Repellants

Mosquito repellantThursday 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:

 

Best Mosquito Repellants
Best Mosquito Repellants

 

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:

 

Worst Mosquito Repellants
Worst Mosquito Repellants

 

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.

Mosquito_Close-up_Sucking_BloodMosquitoes & West Nile Virus

There are currently some 176 different species of mosquitoes living here in the United States; all sharing one common characteristic… 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!

 

This Week’s Pest Control News

West Nile Virus at Highest Level Since 2004 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that more then 240 people have been infected with the West Nile Virus so far this year.  This is the highest number since 2004. Almost 80 percent of the reported cases are from Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi.

To help keep mosquitoes off your property, contact your local pest control company.

Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, Tasmania, Australia

West Nile Virus Found in New York

The Oswego County (NY) Health Department has confirmed the diagnosis of two more cases of West Nile Virus. The dangerous virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, can be mistaken for the flu. Symptoms include fever, headaches, rashes, and body aches.

Pest control professionals urge the use of repellents containing DEET, and to also limit your outdoor activity between dusk and dawn. Make sure to eliminate any stagnant water around your property because that’s where mosquitoes will often lay their eggs.

 

Record Heat Kicks Insects into High Gear 

It’s been no secret that this year has been this country’s hottest year on record, and don’t think the bugs haven’t noticed. Grasshoppers, ants, bees, and crickets are thriving– doing a number on this country’s crops and gardens.

To find out why check out: http://servallpestcontrol.blogspot.com/2012/08/bugs-like-it-hot-record-heat-kicks.html

 

Clothing Moth Capabilities  

Clothing moths are notorious for chewing holes in your clothing. These moths are particularly attracted to dirty, sweaty, or otherwise moist fabrics. They prefer low light conditions unlike many other moths which are drawn to light.

For some of these moth’s capabilities check out: http://brownpestcontrol.com/aug-7-2012-clothes-moth-capabilities/

 

Lone Star Tick Bites can lead to a Red Meat Allergy 

It’s well known that tick bites can cause Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but did you know that they can give you an allergy to red meat?

Check out: http://www.holidaypestcontrol.com/blog/tick-bites-and-red-meat-allergy/

 

 

Lone-star
Lone-star (Photo credit: joshuallen)