Boat­ing LAB

BoatingLAB takes a sci­en­tific ap­proach to test­ing in­sect re­pel­lants.

Boating - - FEATURES - By Randy Vance

You are a baby boomer if you re­mem­ber the first bug-spray com­mer­cial. It aired in 1960 and fea­tured a lab tech­ni­cian thrust­ing his arm in a glass cham­ber of hun­dreds of mosquitoes. They were on him like stink on skunks. Af­ter a spritz of Off, the tech reached in again and the ver­min were held at bay. DEET, an acro­nym for a chem­i­cal name you’ll never re­mem­ber, was the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, and to­day it is still king in keep­ing mosquitoes, ticks, chig­gers and just about any bit­ing bug away. But it is the new mil­len­nium, and chem­i­cal-con­scious peo­ple re­sist ap­ply­ing things to their skin. So 60 years later, has science de­vel­oped new tech­niques to keep bugs away? That was our ques­tion, and our test was sim­ple. We took each of these de­vices into buggy ter­ri­tory and made our­selves bait.

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