We published an article concerning the Zika virus a while back, but some new information has come out that we feel our readers should know. This news focuses on how well natural insect repellents work against the Aedes mosquitoes. The news is not good.
As background, there are several natural plant oils that can be used as insect repellents if one is not trying to prevent mosquito bites. In the case of Zika, that is exactly what we are trying to do. Natural plant oils often used in repellents include: lemongrass oil, citronella, cedar oil, rosemary oil, cinnamon oil, and geraniol. These oils, and other ingredients, are combined in different ways to produce “natural” products such as California Baby Natural Bug Blend, All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor, Burt’s Bees Herbal, Cutter Natural, and EcoSmart Organic.
When Consumer Reports tested these products, they found that none were able to provide protection for more than one hour against the Aedes mosquitoes, and some did not last that long. Consumer Reports did identify one mosquito repellent that uses a natural plant oil as its active ingredient that worked well: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, 30 percent. It worked against the Aedes mosquitoes for 7 hours.
It should also be known that the vast majority of these “natural” products are not registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates skin-applied repellents. Most plant-oil products are exempt because the EPA considers them to be a minimum risk to human health. Instead, the CDC recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents. To see if a mosquito repellent is registered by the EPA, look for its registration number (“EPA Reg.”) on the back of the label.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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