What insect repellents are safest for your family? Agencies weigh in

What insect repellents are safest for your family? Agencies weigh in

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - You probably felt them over the weekend at your backyard barbecues -- mosquitoes!  You may be wondering which products are safe for your family.

When there's a new baby in the house, you probably think twice about dousing them with any sort of chemical. Healthychildren.org says the most effective insect repellent contains DEET, which may sound scary to parents. Not to worry, the CDC says DEET is safe for children older than 2 months.

The CDC says don't spray insect repellent directly on to your child's skin. First, spray it into your hands and then apply to your child. Make sure products contain no more than 30 percent DEET.

The CDC says products containing Picaridin are also effective and safe for babies over 2 months. Bug sprays with oil of lemon eucalyptus works well, but are not safe for children under 3.

Always remember to read the labels to see how often to apply bug spray and you can also check to see if the product is registered with the EPA.

Experts don't recommend using lotions that combine sunscreen and bug spray because sunscreen needs to be applied more often than bug spray does.

The best-scoring insect repellent by Consumer Reports is "Total Home (CVS) Woodland Scent," followed by "Off Deep Woods Insect Repellent Vlll Dry."

The Toledo Area Sanitary District has started spraying, so expect to see the "fog" in your neighborhood soon. For the schedule, click here.

Additional info:

American Academy of Pediatrics' insect repellent guide

CDC's mosquito bite prevention tips
Consumer Reports insect repellent rankings