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Consumer Survey Results on Insect Repellent Labels

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The Office of Pesticide Programs conducted a national survey in 2011 about insect repellents to better understand how we might improve label information for these consumer products. We also wanted to get a better idea of consumers’ understanding and preferences for various graphics that would explain at a glance how long a product will repel mosquitoes and ticks after the product is applied. This page describes what we learned from the survey. The results will help inform our future decisions and policies affecting labeling of insect repellents.

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General Survey Results

  • 71% of consumers report looking at the label when shopping for repellents
  • Information consumers want when purchasing insect repellents:
    • types of insects repelled
    • active ingredients
    • safety warnings
    • hours of protection
  • Top reasons for purchasing insect repellents:
    • avoid insect bite discomfort
    • protect against vector-borne disease
  • Major barriers to insect repellent usage:
    • forgetfulness
    • outside for too short a period of time
    • dislike for the smell and the greasy feel

Label Graphic Survey Results

For our survey, we developed four different graphic marks to convey insect protection times:

Circle graphic of tick and mosquito side by side graphic of a tick and mosquito square graphic of mosquito and tick graphic image of repellent factor mark
Circle Bugs Square Repellent Factor

Conclusions and Implications:

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