Zika scams: protecting yourself from falling prey

Posted at 10:37 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 22:37:35-04

The fear of getting the Zika virus is so strong, it's creating an opportunity for scammers.

According to Consumer Reports, several companies are getting cease-and-desist letters for marketing products saying they'll prevent you from getting Zika when they actually don't.

Experts say to stick to what you know works: professionally formulated repellents with deet, prekeratin, or lemon eucalyptus oil, and stay away from homemade concoctions you might find online.

Consumer Reports says natural, homemade repellents don't offer much protection.

The site also listed "anti-Zika wristbands" as ineffective in protecting your whole body, only repelling mosquitoes from where the band is on your wrist.

They also warn against using "ultrasonic pest repellers" which claim to have high frequency sounds to keep mosquitoes away. Officials at Lee County Mosquito Control said there's no proof these devices actually work, and may even attract mosquitoes.

"They're not real expensive, so it's not just the financial loss. The problem is the sense of security that they have wearing that, thinking the mosquitoes won't bite them. And the Aedes Egypti is a sneaky biter," Shelly Redovan with Lee County Mosquito Control said.

You can check the Centers for Disease Control website for more information which products are best when it comes to protecting yourself from Zika.

Redovan recommends covering up your body and putting repellent on any bare skin when you go outside, and remove all standing water from your home.