The Best Repellent to Avoid Zika Virus
Insect repellents are one part of a more comprehensive program to control mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as dengue or Zika virus. However, in 2012, scientists found that the mosquito that carries the Zika virus is resistant to most repellent sprays on sale. A test to find the best Zika reppelent was carried out on 19 brands of aerosol repellent and showed that the mosquito plaguing the Americas was unaffected by most of the sprays. Researchers trapped 50 Aedes aegypti mosquitos – the species which carries Zika – in a glass cage and asked volunteers to put their hand inside at hourly intervals for eight hours. Thirteen of the products completely failed to stop the mosquitos biting and only five products offered 100 % protection over the full eight-hour test period. The best Zika repellent were: Jungle Formula Medium, Lifesystems Expedition Plus 50+, Tesco Insect Protection Max strength, Sainsbury’s Insect repellent extra strength and Superdrug Buzz off Standard repellent.
More recently, in 2015, Researchers at New Mexico State University tested 10 commercially available products for their effectiveness at repelling mosquitoes. Their research about the best Zika repellents were published in Journal of Insect Science (The Efficacy of Some Commercially Available Insect Repellents for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). On the mosquito Aedes aegypti, all DEET-containing mosquito repellents were active: Repel 100 Insect Repellent, OFF Deep Woods Insect Repellent VIII, and Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent. Only one repellent that did not contain DEET had a strong effect for the duration of the 240 minutes test: Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent. Many health authorities recommend Lemon Eucalyptus Oil. The product does repel a range of biting insects and there is no evidence suggesting it should not be used in pregnancy. Citronella oil’s mosquito repellency has also been verified by another research including effectiveness in repelling Aedes aegypti. But it requires reapplication after 30 to 60 minutes.
- The most commonly used, safe and effective mosquito repellent is DEET
- DEET is the best reppelent to avoid bites from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
- There is no of evidence indicating that DEET is harmful to a foetus.
- As an alternative, natural mosquito repellents with Lemon Eucalyptus Oil can be used.
- Don’t forget to apply one of the best Zika reppelent around the lower legs and feet.
Choosing the best Zika repellent for pregnant women can be confusing, so don’t hesitate to select one of the products listed in the table.
Top 5 Best Zika Repellents
|Cutter 54010 Skinsations 6-Ounce Insect Repellent Pump Spray 7-Percent DEET, Case Pack of 1||7% DEET||$||4.3|
|Off! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent VIII 4 oz (3 Pack)||25% DEET||$$||4.8|
|Repel 94108 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray, 98.11-Percent DEET, 4-Ounce||98.1% DEET||$||4.3|
|Lifesystems Mosquito Repellent 50+ Spray 50ml - 50 ml||50% DEET with natural pyrethroids||$||NA|
|Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Pump Spray, 4-Ounce||30% Lemon Eucalyptus Oil||$||4.1|
Efficacy Data of the Best Zika Repellent
For the readers interested by science, I show below a graph of the percentage of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes attracted by a hand treated with each of the best Zika repellent. It is adapted from the article written in 2015 by the scientists at University of New Mexico mentioned above (refer to this publication to see the original data). (Note to the authors if you read this blog: sorry guys I didn’t ask you the permission so let me know if you still agree that I post your data). As explained in the conclusions above, it’s clear from these data that there are at least 3 DEET-based mosquito repellents which work against the vector of Zika virus disease whereas there is only one natural Zika repellent which is effective. Of course, this is from a selection of commercial products but the general conclusion about the best Zika repellent is still valid for any products: choose either DEET repellents or natural ones containing oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.