How effective is your insect repellent?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - How effective are insect repellents? A recent consumer reports study found 5 popular repellents do not work very well.

The study found repellent wristbands weren't very effective. According to Consumer Reports, participants still had mosquito bites after using several wristbands.

Consumer Reports stated the Federal Trade Commission cited one company for claiming their bands protected against mosquitoes without scientific evidence to back that up.

The study also found sonic repellents, clip-on fans, and natural repellents weren't very effective for long.

According to the study, natural repellents are deemed harmless by the EPA. The EPA doesn't test repellents' effectiveness, so companies can sell those products without proving if they actually work.

Study participants found most natural, plant-based repellents lasted one hour or less.

Citronella Candles were also included in the study, and the website reports those candles weren't very effective either.

Marty Ivey, the owner of Ivey Exterminating said there are a few reasons the candles do not work well.

"Citronella candles aren't very effective because they've got a short radius," said Ivey.

"Citronella candles only work about 40ish percent of the time a regular candle is only 28 to 30 percent of the time. So you see you're not getting a lot of difference. Basically, they are not very effective and the reason why is they're not eliminating the mosquitoes they're just repelling them," said Ivey.

Ivey and Consumer Reports said products containing appropriate levels of DEET work well.

According to Ivey, the best way to protect against insects especially mosquitoes is to discourage them from breeding. Ivey said to do this, avoid and get rid of standing water.

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