Tips to Guard Against Mosquito Bites as Zika Fears Grow

The virus is dangerous for pregnant women and fetuses.

ByABC News
May 4, 2016, 9:46 AM

— -- It is now “very likely” the mosquito-borne Zika virus will spread from mosquitos to humans in America, U.S. health officials say.

With summer right around the corner, experts are weighing in on the best things families can do to combat the disease at home in the United States.

Consumer Reports found three products to be most effective in combating the mosquito known for carrying Zika: Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin, Natrapel 8 Hour and Off! Deepwoods VIII.

Michael Raupp, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland who is known as “the bug guy,” said clothing and getting rid of mosquitos’ breeding sites are also good tools.

"Mosquito-repellent clothing is a very good way to prevent mosquito bites,” Raupp told ABC News. “It's also been proven to actually reduce the incident of mosquito-borne diseases."

Raupp added, "Other things that homeowners should consider to do around the home this time of year is get rid of those breeding sites.”

“That means eliminate all sources of standing water,” he said. “If you’ve got a five-gallon pale or an old paint can behind the tool shed, dump those things out and get rid of them. If it holds water for a week or two weeks, you can breed mosquitoes."

ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said today on "Good Morning America" that the main concerns around Zika focus on people of child-bearing age.

"Zika is a mild infection," Besser explained. "The only reason we’re concerned about Zika is because of its connection with birth defects.

"The whole goal is to try and protect pregnant women so that they don’t get it [and] focus on guys who are part of a couple trying to have a baby because they shouldn’t get infected either," he said, adding that for other people, getting the Zika infection is "mild."

Besser also said not everyone needs to rush to buy mosquito-repellent clothing.

"It’s very effective but this kind of clothing is pretty expensive," he said. "I sometimes use it if I’m going on assignment and I’m going to be in the jungle or you might think about it if your health department says there is a lot of Zika going around town."