Safe and Effective Protection From Mosquitoes That Transmit The West Nile Virus

Watkins Inspect Repellent offers safe and effective protection from mosquitoes that transmit the West Nile Virus and other diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DEET is the most effective repellent for protection against the West Nile Virus. DEET does not kill mosquitoes, it repels them, making the person unattractive for biting and feeding. Mosquitoes will not land on clothing or skin that is covered with DEET. However, if exposed skin is not covered with DEET, the mosquito can find it. Therefore, it is important to cover all exposed areas of skin and/or clothing with DEET-containing repellent. (See label instructions for facial protection and other precautionary measures).

Watkins Insect Repellents The more DEET a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you from mosquito bites. Based on a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a product containing 23.8% DEET provided an average of 5 hours of protection from mosquitoes, with a maximum of 6 hours. Products with 4.75% DEET provided just 1 1/2 hours of protection.

Watkins Insect Repellent Lotion contains 28.5% DEET, offering 6 hours of protection. Watkins Insect Repellent Spray contains 23.75% DEET, the most effective concentration in the New England Journal study, providing up to 6 hours of protection. (Health Canada requires the statement that these products provide 6 hours of protection, in accordance with results from this and other studies using DEET). Concentrations of DEET between 20% and 30% are so effective, that after 2004, Health Canada will no longer allow insect repellents with over 30% DEET to be sold. This is another indication that Watkins offers products with the highest quality standards for safety and effectiveness.

Other non-DEET products analyzed in the New England Journal study offered little or no protection: Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus with the chemical, IR3535, protected for less than 23 minutes. Plant-derived repellents, including citronella, lasted less than 20 minutes. Avon Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil worked for less than 10 minutes. Three wristbands-two with DEET and one with citronella, provided NO protection, which indicates that DEET must be in contact with skin and/or clothing to provide protection. Wristbands and similar gimmicks do not work. Vitamin B, wristbands and ultrasonic devices were NOT effective in preventing mosquito bites in other studies.

According to the researchers of this study, "Currently available non-DEET repellents do not provide protection for durations similar to those of DEET-based repellents and cannot be relied on to provide prolonged protection in environments where mosquito-borne diseases are a substantial threat."

The researchers also stated in the New England Journal of Medicine, that despite concerns brought up by the media, "DEET has a remarkable safety profile after 40 years of use and nearly 8 billion human applications. DEET-based repellents remain the gold standard of protection under circumstances in which it is crucial to be protected against arthropod bites that might transmit disease." DEET is also effective against mosquitoes that transmit encephalitis, and ticks that transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, as well as chiggers, biting flies, gnats and fleas.

Mayo Clinic recommends the following guidelines for protection from mosquito-borne illnesses:
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when going into mosquito-infested areas. Apply an insect repellent that contains 20% to 30% DEET. Repellents with more than 30% DEET offer no added protection. (Watkins Insect Repellent Lotion contains 28.5% DEET, and the spray contains 23.75% DEET). Spray clothing with insect repellent, as mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing. Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.

Source: Fradin, MS, Day, JF. Comparative efficacy of insect repellents against mosquito bites. New England Journal of Medicine, July 4, 2002; 347(1):2-3.

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The statements made and opinions expressed on this site are those of the Independent Watkins Associate who is the publisher of this document,
and are not to be construed as the statements or opinions of Watkins Incorporated.