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Read behind the buzz about mosquito repellents

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The idea of a perfume-like insect repellent that safeguards against dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses may sound great. But before making a rash decision, take a moment to consider whether the claims a company makes about its products are truly accurate.

For instance, the makers of Aromaflage sprays and candles said the products protect users from mosquito bites that can lead to diseases like the Zika virus and yellow fever…oh, and that it smells good. Adding credibility to these claims, customer reviews on sang Aromaflage’s praises.

But the FTC says the company did not base its claims on solid scientific evidence. What’s more, some of the so-called “customers” turned out to be one of the company’s owners and several members of her family.

The best guide for protecting yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

The CDC recommends using skin-applied insect repellents registered with the EPA and containing certain active ingredients. Check out additional tips from the CDC on protecting yourself and your family from mosquito bites, and things to know before traveling to areas with Zika.

The EPA has registered products to treat clothing and gear. The EPA has evaluated these products for safety and effectiveness. You can also search the EPA’s registry for skin-applied repellents based on the type of insect, product ingredients, and other factors. Here’s more from the EPA on using repellents safely and effectively.

If you’re considering an all-natural repellent not registered with the EPA, know that neither the EPA nor the CDC can vouch for its effectiveness. Also, certain ingredients aren’t safe for children under three — even if they’re advertised as all-natural.

And if a product’s ads and spokespersons turn out to be less than honest, report it to the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness


I found this message very helpful.

Thank you especially now for this information. I received it whilst on the phone with a pest control company, as I have a war going on with black ants, in my kitchen AGAIN. I have been reading about this topic for eliminating mosquitoes and ticks; we live in the woods, a mile and a half from the ocean. I would never build a house where we are now; at some point we have to realize that we are in the natural world of insects and rodents. It is very important to know what we have as viable resources for such serious issues as insects who have invaded our house ( we rent a large single family house; we have had to transfer to several states for our business opportunities ). I hope that everyone reads this significant information about the efficacy of the treatment from many companies lacking ethics and integrity. I feel desperate about this situation, which makes me a possible target for companies who only care about making $$$$ from individuals who are experiencing this type of situation. I am never going to be that person who is taken for a fool by these soulless creatures who have the means to have control over our own knowledge.

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