Insect repellant

FRESNO, Calif.

Not only are they annoying, mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus and deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease.

Steve Ricker spends a lot of time outdoors, as director of a nature conservatory, so he's no stranger to insects. "I've been bit by many, many, many, many bugs over the years, so it's part of the job," Ricker said.

Besides wearing a hat, long sleeves, and long pants, he always makes sure to use insect repellent.

Consumer reports just tested 10 repellents to see how well they protect against mosquitoes - two different types - and deer ticks.

"Several of the repellents we tested contain the active ingredient DEET - but no more than 30 percent. And others use newer chemicals like Picaridin," Kim Kleman said.

This repel spray uses lemon eucalyptus oil, another chemical. And two other products tested claim to be "all natural" - Burt's Bees All Natural Herbal Insect Repellent and Organic Bite Blocker Xtreme.

Several brave panelists at an outside lab bared their arms to test repellents. First mosquitoes. You can see here the repellent is working. Mosquitoes are avoiding the treated skin.

Next deer ticks. Here the tick is placed on an untreated arm and it moves right up the arm. But you can see on this arm that's been treated with repellent, as the tick approaches the treated area above the blue line it makes a "u" turn to get away. But not all the products worked this well.

"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.

"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.

And finally, another tip from Steve, "If you wear a hat, spray your hat. It's very effective.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.