MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) If you've been swatting bugs and scratching bites already this season, it's probably time for a new repellent. It can become a real headache trying to find the best bug repellent, especially when you're at the store and the shelves are stocked with different kinds. Consumer Reports put several brands to the test and WMBF News is bringing you the best ones to help save you money.
In all, 10 different repellents were tested to see how well they protect against deer ticks and two different kinds of mosquitoes.
"Several of the repellents we tested contain the active ingredient DEET, but no more than 30 percent," said Kim Kleman with Consumer Reports. "Others use newer chemicals, like Picaridin."
Repel created a spray that uses lemon eucalyptus oil, another chemical. Two other products tested claim to be "all natural," namely Burt's Bees All Natural Herbal Insect Repellent and Organic Bite Blocker Xtreme. Several brave panelists bared their arms for testing at a lab.
"The Burt's Bees repellent performed the worst, offering only a fraction of the protection that the others did," Kleman said.
In the end, six products kept mosquitoes and ticks away for at least seven hours (pictured to the right).
The over-all winner came out to be one of the lesser known repellent names. Cutter Backwoods Unscented offered protection while also not overwhelming the user with an unbearable smell or texture on the skin.
"The repellents we tested generally had a strong smell and left a slight residue on the skin, but testers found the Cutter Backwoods Unscented, while it had a slight smell, left barely a hint of residue," Kleman said.
If you're looking for a DEET-free repellent, Consumer Reports found Natrapel 8 Hour with Picaridin is best for kids under the age of three. For anyone over the age of three, pick up Repel with Lemon Eucalyptus.