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The Best and Safest Bug Sprays

According to Consumer Reports, the best insect repellent ingredient, as of late, is an ingredient called picaridin. The second runner-up is oil of lemon eucalyptus. Of the two, picaridin is safest for children.

Here are some more facts from Consumer Reports:

– The repellents we tested that contain 20 percent picaridin and 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-Menthane-3,8-diol) warded off mosquitoes for at least 7 hours and kept deer ticks away for at least 6 hours.

– But the concentration is important: A spray that contained just 5 percent picaridin performed worse than the 7 percent deet product we tested.

– Picaridin is made to resemble the compound piperine, which occurs naturally in black pepper plants. Oil of lemon eucalyptus comes from the gum eucalyptus tree. Both have less serious side effects than deet has.

– Oil of lemon eucalyptus can cause temporary eye injury. The Food and Drug Administration says it should not be used on children under age 3.

– Of the two, picaridin is a better choice for kids, although it can cause some irritation of skin, eyes, and lungs.

See the full article here.

A list of picaridin products and a list of oil of lemon eucalyptus products.

 

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One of our staff who provides news and information for families in Hampton Roads.

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