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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

A Review of Top Mosquito Repellents

Aired June 4, 2003 - 20:26   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Here is something to look forward to. Not! As the summer season gets closer we may be in for a whopper of the mosquito season. Now, the rainy season means a lot of standing water and that's where mosquitoes breed of course. They can carry West Nile Virus. Public health officials want to be prepared.
Lets take a look at this piece. Michael Okwu reports about what authorities are doing and how you can protect yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This summer there is a good chance you'll be testing sprays, creams, traps or zap. Measures you can take to combat the mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus. So how many products did you test?

GEOFF MARTIN, CONSUMERS UNION: Well, we tested about -- we reported on about nine products.

OKWU: Geoff Martin tested insect repellents for the May edition of "Consumer Reports" published by Consumers Union.

MARTIN: The more deet there is, usually the longer the product will last.

OKWU: They tested sprays and lotions containing seven to 100 percent deet and others with no deet. They say testers exposed their repellent treated arms to 200 mosquitoes for three minutes and then counted the number of bugs that bit them. If none biting with the testers repeated the process every half hour until at least one mosquito bit during two successive exposures. Consumer Union says the two most effective deterrents were 3M Ultrathon and Off! Deep Woods For Sportsmen. Both kept mosquitoes at bay for about 13 hours. Excellent they say for an all day fishing or hiking trip.

MARTIN: But if you come home after work and you are going to have a barbecue, these products will last four or five hours. That's fine.

OKWU: Speaking of barbecues, you may also opt for backyard zappers and traps. After releasing 2,000 mosquitoes in a 25 by 30 foot room, the Consumer Union says they found these two captured the most bugs. American Biophysics Mosquito Magnet Liberty and the Lentek Mosquito Trap. Both generate carbon dioxide and warmth by burning propane.

MARTIN: Carbon dioxide. Let's say the wind is blowing this way. Carbon dioxide and it's drawn over here to these little vents where the carbon dioxide is coming out.

OKWU: Mosquitoes are captured using suction. The Applica Sonic Web simulates a heartbeat and captures bugs with sticky paper. It caught fewer mosquitoes in the Consumers Union's tests. But testers say it's lightweight easy to assemble and more convenient than the other two.

OKWU: One more thing about some of those devices. The experts tell us they cover about three-quarters of an acre to about an acre. But not everybody can afford them. The bottom line is they range from about $300 to $500. And what you need to do is protect your skin. And in fact I have some of the higher rated products here. These products are sprays and lotions and they go from anywhere from about $2 to $9 and the experts again will tell you, the bottom line is they are the last line of defense against mosquitoes.

COOPER: Yes. I have to tell you, I bought one of those machines and tried to use it once and just like never used it again. It didn't seem to work or I couldn't figure it out at least. But all of these things contain deet. Isn't deet dangerous?

OKWU: There have been scattered reports about neurological damage mainly involving children. But the experts also say the bottom line is the chances of actually getting some sort of complication from deet are much smaller than the chances of getting West Nile Virus. So it actually pays.

COOPER: And don't put it near your mouth or eyes.

OKWU: Exactly.

COOPER: All right. Michael Okwu, thanks very much.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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