Better-Smelling Mosquito Repellent Gets Kids' "Thumbs-Up" - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Better-Smelling Mosquito Repellent Gets Kids' "Thumbs-Up"

Lisa Hokit says her kids hate to douse themselves with mosquito repellent before they go outside.

"They say 'Not the stinky stuff,' or 'Hey, you just put it on me.' But, yeah, the stinky stuff is not good," she says.

The stink is from DEET, the active ingredient in lotions and sprays for decades. It's always been proven safe, but now, the Centers for Disease Control has given the okay to two new, not-so-smelly, repellents.

They are Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and Picaridin.

We put the Eucalyptus to the test with finicky first graders from Frankston.  First, we applied the DEET lotion.

One boy told us, "It kind of smells like bug spray, only nastier?"

Another said it was "something bad tasting."  The label says not to get the spray in your mouth.

"It just feels weird where I rub it.  It's kind of "thick," another says.

That's what we've all been saying for years -- DEET feels and smells weird.

Now, we try the Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

"Smells pretty good," said one boy.

"I like it a lot and it doesn't smell near as bad as the other ones. It smells like lemons," said another.

It was almost unanimous. One boy didn't like the smell at all, though his mother tried to persuade him otherwise.

The labels on the kid-friendly ten percent DEET lotion and the one with Lemon Eucalyptus say you may have to reapply every few hours if it washes off.

The CDC says that Lemon Eucalyptus has not been tested safe for children under three years, while the DEET has been tested safe for children as young as six months.

Overall, the Lemon Eucalyptus has the thumbs up, and moms everywhere have a new option.

The Repel Lemon Eucalyptus we tested is available at Target and Oshman's Sporting Goods.  We paid $6.50 for a four ounce tube, compared to about five dollars for the same amount of a DEET lotion for kids.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.


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