Investor Relations

With Zika Threat Looming, Americans Don't Know How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Spectrum Brands, Inc. - Pet, Home & Garden Division survey finds 82% of Americans misidentify effective active ingredients

ST. LOUIS, July 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This summer, Zika is a topic of conversation all over the world. However, according to a new survey from Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden Division,1 although 93% of Americans have heard of Zika and 79% know that mosquito bites are the main method of transmission, 22% of Americans cannot identify a single active ingredient deemed effective by the CDC2 for repelling mosquitoes, and 82% mistakenly believe at least one product sold as mosquito repellent but not recommended by the CDC will protect them from mosquitoes.

"People know they should avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes," said Eric Kenney, the company's division vice president of Home & Garden Marketing. "The problem is that they don't understand how to do it. While the knowledge of Zika in general has grown tremendously in the last year, consumers need more information about the most important tool to protect themselves when spending time outdoors: mosquito repellent. We developed Zika virus information pages on Cutter and Repel's websites with tips and information for consumers just for this reason."

The survey included 1,176 interviews of Americans aged 18 years or older using an online opt-in panel. It found many misconceptions about mosquito repellents and active ingredients. For example, 67% of respondents identified citronella as a very or somewhat effective active ingredient for repelling insects. However, citronella is not one of the active ingredients that the CDC recommends as effective. DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are the only recommended active ingredients, but only 12% of those surveyed correctly indicated that all four were effective. Conversely, 73% of respondents identified at least one ingredient not recommended by the CDC for use as repellents as effective for that purpose.

Most people are aware that the best defense against contracting Zika is to not get bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus.  At least 93% of surveyed Americans are planning some outdoor activities this summer, and 65% are certain or almost certain a mosquito will bite them compared to only 34% reporting they expect to get a sunburn. Juxtapose that with the fact that 60% of Americans frequently use sunscreen and only 40% frequently apply mosquito repellent, the most effective way to prevent mosquito bites when spending time outdoors, and it is clear that people are not taking the steps needed to prevent mosquito bites. This might be due, in part, to the fact that healthcare providers are not discussing mosquito repellent with their patients nearly as often as they mention sunscreen (23% vs. 48%, respectively).

Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden Division, is a global leader in lawn and garden and home pest control products, and personal insect repellents. The company offers a broad portfolio of market-leading, trusted products from brands that include Spectracide®, Cutter®, Repel®, Hot Shot®, Black Flag® and Liquid Fence®.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mosquito-borne Illnesses
Choosing a personal mosquito repellent based on the length of time you'll be outside and type of activity you're planning can help reduce the risk of mosquito bites. Cutter® Skinsations® Insect Repellent Pump contains 7-percent DEET and can protect the entire family. For longer-lasting mosquito protection in rugged conditions, Repel® 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray works up to 10 hours.

Additional mosquito-bite prevention tips include:

  • Using an EPA-registered personal insect repellent when you're outside; experts recommend products containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Reducing mosquito breeding ground around your home by eliminating standing water in places like flower pots, bird baths and gutters
  • Inspecting the screens on your windows and repairing them if needed
  • Preventing mosquitoes from entering your home by spraying Hot Shot® Flying Insect Killer3 around doors and windows
  • Taking additional precautions when traveling to affected regions: Staying and sleeping in air-conditioned or screened rooms, or using bed netting if exposed to the outdoors

For additional information on protecting yourself and your family from mosquito bites that may transmit the Zika virus, go to or Information about the Zika virus is available from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.
Spectrum Brands Holdings (NYSE: SPB), a member of the Russell 2000 Index, is a global and diversified consumer products company and a leading supplier of consumer batteries, residential locksets, residential builders' hardware, plumbing, shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden and home pest control products, personal insect repellents and auto care products. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Chelsey Watts

Connie Caldwell
Spectrum Brands, Inc. — Pet, Home & Garden Division

1 The survey was conducted in June 2016 using an online opt-in panel and is not a random sample of all Americans. The results are indicative of public opinion and behaviors but should not be projected onto the population as a whole.


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SOURCE Spectrum Brands

Safe Harbor Disclaimer

Certain matters discussed herein, with the exception of historical matters, are forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from these statements as a result of changes in external competitive market factors, unanticipated changes in the company's industry, or the economy in general, as well as various other factors, including those discussed herein and those set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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