Cheaper mosquito repellants outperform the costly choices

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According to a new study by Consumer NZ, the most expensive mosquito repellants may not offer the best protection against pesky blood-sucking insects.

The consumer watchdog tested 17 mosquito repellants that contained diethyltoluamide, commonly known as deet, picaridin, and natural oils.

Four people were sprayed with the products and then placed their arms in a clear box of mosquitoes for 3 minutes each over a six hour period.

Bug Grrr Off Natural Personal Insect Repellent Jungle Strength ($ 15.96) and Bushman Plus Personal Insect Repellent (20 percent deet with sunscreen) for $ 10.60 were rated most effective by Consumer NZ, offering 97 coverage after six hours Percent.

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Other repellants, including Repel Ole Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus ($ 21.06) and Thursday Plantation Walkabout Insect Repellent Roll-on ($ 27.50), were found to be less effective within six hours.

The two natural products offered 48 percent and 72 percent respectively.

According to a new study by Consumer NZ, the most expensive repellants don't necessarily offer the best protection.

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According to a new study by Consumer NZ, the most expensive repellants don’t necessarily offer the best protection.

Vanessa Bradley, Repel’s general manager, said she was surprised by the results of the consumer tests.

The company ran “fairly regular field trials through James Cook University” in Australia, she said.

“It actually ran for 6.9 hours at 100 percent effectiveness,” she said.

Goodbye Sandfly Repellent plus Bite Soother, made from a combination of essential oils, was very good at initially repelling mosquitoes according to the Consumer NZ test, but its effectiveness waned faster than other products.

After two hours, the product only offered 55 percent protection.

John Sanderson, co-owner of Goodbye Sandfly, said the consumer had failed to consider a number of extenuating factors in his attempts.

“It can take up to 60 seconds for the heat from your skin to evaporate the oils. Once the oils have evaporated there is no protection, ”said Sanderson.

The consumer ignored that the product was a repellent and a bite pacifier, he said.

The main ingredients in Goodbye Sandfly are also safe to use over and over again, he said.

Consumer researcher Belinda Castles said there was no need to look for natural products when buying mosquito repellants. However, buyers should consider the active ingredient when making their choice.

“Although Deet has been called the ‘gold standard’ for keeping mozzies out, it has a few downsides,” Castles said.

“Some people don’t like the smell and it can damage some fabrics and plastic items like sunglasses.”

It's important to consider the main active ingredient in a repellant, says Belinda Castle, researcher at Consumer NZ.

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It’s important to consider the main active ingredient in a repellant, says Belinda Castle, researcher at Consumer NZ.

Picaridin, based on a molecule found in the black pepper plant, has little odor and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy, she said.

“Natural products have an initially repellent effect, but it wanes more quickly, so these products have to be used regularly. Before treating a baby or child with any repellant, check that it is suitable for their age. “

Castles warned against the use of products that were repellent and combined with sunscreen.

Sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours, while repellents usually last for several hours.

If you need to use them together, it’s best to apply sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply the repellent, Castles said.

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