Mosquito Repellent Bugging East Texans

Even with reports of the West Nile virus, people aren't going to stop going outside. Instead, they're looking for a way to protect themselves.

Lowe's manager Rick Bailey says, "People have come in looking for more stuff since the mosquito virus is going around. Everybody's looking for something to keep the mosquitos away more than normal."

With what seems like almost as many products to get rid of mosquitos as mosquitos in the first place, it's difficult to know which ones are the best and which ones last the longest. According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, repellents with the chemical DEET last longer than those without it. Deep Woods OFF! and Sawyer Controlled Release each lasted, on average, several hours. The popular Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus, without DEET, only lasts about 20 minutes.

Local parents are more worried, since mosquito bites are becoming more than just annoying. Kids require more attention, since kids' repellents aren't as strong and don't last as long. Bite Blocker, with soybean oil, lasts about an hour and a half while OFF!, Skintastic off with DEET lasts almost that long. Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard only stays active for about ten minutes.

So be careful what you count on to stay bug free. Of course, the best way to avoid mosquitos is just to stay inside. But usually, kids are just having too much fun to do that.