West Nile News: Best Insect Repellents

Prevention is most effective, and crucial.

By Judy Feldman on September 13, 2012 10:08 PM EDT

Aedes Mosquitoe Biting Human
West Nile News: PlusTop Rated Insect Repellents (Photo: Wiki Commons)

The good news is that West Nile may have peaked, according to the Centers of Disease Control. That said, it did increase a full 35% last week. "We think the worst part of the epidemic is behind us," Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases reported to CNN on September 12. So the crisis may be over. However, the number of people reported with West Nile disease continues to go up, and we expect the numbers will be high at least until October, he added.

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 "Based on historical data, we have turned the corner on the epidemic," Petersen said, as reported on Sept 13th by News Channel 5.  "Experience has shown us that West Nile outbreaks in the United States tend to peak in mid- to late August."

Either way -- Peterson emphasized that prevention is the best approach.

So keep on putting it on - say the experts - insect repellent is the best preventive for the mosquitoes that carry this disease. (Wild mosquitoes in the United States also can carry St. Louis encephalitis, too.) So to get your best protection against these potentially killer mosquitoes - as well as protection against ticks too and other creatures with nasty habits - slather up.

And currently you can read details and comparisons for best repellents, as chosen by Consumer Reports for free:

Here are the six with the top overall score, as rated by Consumer Reports. 

Off Deep Woods Sportsmen II

Cutter Backwoods Unscented

OFF FamilyCare Smooth & Dry

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 8

Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus

Natrapel 8-Hour with Picaridin

For more details on these and four other top-rated insect repellents -- details such as percentages of how much deet and other ingredients, how long the effect lasts, and cost per ounce, see here. And, here are a few more simple tips to prevent the ticks and mosquitoes from getting at you:

  • Install or repair your screens to your home.
  • Report dead birds to authorities.
  • When you are outdoors: Wear loose, and light colored clothing.
  • Avoid wearing scents, especially during peak feeding hours for the critters -- typically dusk to dawn.
  • Remove any pools of standing water near your house. These can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

To keep the ticks off of your body, tuck your pants into your socks and wear closed shoes, not sandals. And wear a hat.

If you have pets - you may want to double up on your protection for them too. If so, see here.

Stay on top of the news related to West Nile virus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's West Nile page.

For links to CDC control departments in your state or region, see here.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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