With the Zika virus making headlines, you may be wondering how to protect yourself against it. Since there is no vaccine, the best way to stay safe is avoiding mosquito bites. But not just any old bug spray will do. The best bug repellants to use to avoid Zika need to have some specific ingredients in order to keep the pests away, and keep you safe.
According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), the main way Zika virus is spread is by a specific species of mosquito, called the Aedes, which mostly bites during the day time hours. Aside from wearing clothing that covers most of your arms and legs and staying inside, the CDC recommends using insect repellants that list DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol as active ingredients. To make sure the brand is legit, check the Environmental Protection Agency's data base for insect repellants that are registered and known to work against mosquito-born illnesses.
But since you're life is busy, I've made things a little easier for you. Check out this list of the best bug repellants to use to avoid Zika and have confidence that what you're spraying will protect you.
Repellants with DEET come in liquid, spray, and even wipe form, and have been shown to be the best protection against bug bites. Bust out the big guns of critter protection with any of the following brands, which are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- Unscented OFF! Skintastic Spray Insect Repellent
- Cutter All Family Mosquito Wipes
- Morpel Outdoor Family Insect Repellent Unscented
- CVS Insect Repellent Unscented
- Fly Away Insect Repellent Wipes
- REI Ultra 30 Insect Repellent Lotion
- No Mas-Quito
- Buggspray Insect Repellent
- Champion Spray On Insect Repellent
- Ben's 12 Hour Tick & Insect Repellent
Even though it's been around since the 1980s, picaridin has only been available in the United States since 2005. It is a synthetic compound that was created to mimic the plants that make black pepper, and has been found effective in protecting humans against many bugs. Here is a sampling of sprays that contain this key ingredient:
- Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Frontier Insect Repellent Spray
- Ride Together Fly and Mosquito Repellent Spray
- Cutter Insect Repellent
- Walgreens Light & Clean Insect Repellent
- Go Ready Insect Repellent
- Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellent Continuous Spray
- Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion
- MOZZ'CARE Insect Repellent
The chemical IR3535 was developed specifically as an insect repellant. It is commonly found in Avon Skin-So-Soft, and a few other bug sprays.
- Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Outdoor Cool Lotion Spray (SPF 15)
- Superguard 3535 Insect Repellent (SPF 20)
- Bug Repell IR3535 10% Lotion
- Sawyer Insect And Sun Spray
- Coleman Skin Smart Insect Repellent
- Bullfrog Mosquito Cost Twilight
4. Oil Of Lemon Eucalyptus
If you're turned off by heavy chemicals and want a bug repellant that is more botanical, oil of lemon eucalyptus may be for you. Try one of these brands which use this oil as the main ingredient.
- Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
- Citrepel Lotion
- Coleman Botanicals Insect Repellent
- Fite Bite 6 Hour
- Repel Essential Insect Repellent Lotion
- In2care Bug Shield Insect Repellent
Known in the biochemical world as p- Menthane-3,8-diol, this ingredient is derived from eucalyptus plants, and comes in sprays and lotions for the purpose of keeping bugs at bay.
- OFF! Botanicals Towelettes
- Treefrog Insect Repellent
- OFF! Botanicals Insect Repellent