Study on Mosquito Repellent Efficacy

A recent NPR article published two useful charts for those of us considering the myriad of insect repellent choices and wondering, "What of this stuff, if any, actually works?" Some researchers at New Mexico State University had the same question. A few brave volunteers stuck their hands in mosquito-filled chambers wearing different repellents, and the investigators kept track of what percentage of the mosquitos were attracted to come on over for a bite. This is what they found:

So, upon application, OFF Deep Woods insect repellent VIII won - attracting only 6% of the mosquitoes (thereby protecting against 94% of bites) and Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus insect repellent came in second - attracting only 9% of mosquitoes (protecting against 91%). Yet, four hours later:

Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus outperformed the OFF Deep Woods - attracting only 18%. The charts are useful - and also a bit funny. You'll notice that the Mosquito Skin Patch preformed exactly the same as a hand with no repellent - so doesn't seem to work at all. The perfume Victoria Secret Bombshell, however, worked better than Cutter Natural Insect Repellent. Too bad - that's the one on my shelf now that I bought before finding the article.


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