Mosquito repellent discourages mosquitoes from landing on you and is available in the form of creams, lotions, sprays, wipes, wrist bands, candles, coils and vaporisers. Mosquito repellents allow you to enjoy spending time outdoors without worrying about potentially hazardous insect bites.
Mosquito repellent containing 55 percent DEET, ideal for use when travelling to malarial areas. Provides 4 to 5 hours of protection against biting insects. Easy to apply, suitable for everyday use.
Most Effective Mosquito Repellents
There are many different types of mosquito repellents available. The most effective mosquito repellents contain active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535. These ingredients are proven to be effective for repelling mosquitoes and are not expected to be harmful to human health or the environment.
DEET and picaridin mosquito repellents have been shown to provide longer-lasting protection than oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 repellents, although oil of lemon eucalyptus may give similar protection to low concentrations of DEET.
Permethrin works as an insecticide and as a mosquito repellent, but it should not be applied directly to your skin. Use permethrin to treat clothing and mosquito nets. You can buy mosquito nets, camping gear and clothing that is already impregnated with permethrin when purchased.
Oil of citronella, made from dried grasses, has been used for decades as a mosquito repellent, particularly in candles. However, it may not be as effective as other mosquito repellents.
Which Mosquito Repellent?
Which mosquito repellent should you choose? It is important to use mosquito repellents according to their instructions or they may be ineffective. For example, sweating, swimming or showering may mean you need to apply your mosquito repellent more often. You must also find a mosquito repellent you are comfortable with to ensure you use it regularly.
Generally, the higher the percentage of active ingredient a mosquito repellent contains, the longer the repellent will protect you and the less frequently you will need to reapply it. For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a mosquito repellent containing more than 20 percent DEET will provide about 3 to 4 hours of protection against mosquito bites.
When choosing which mosquito repellent to buy, you should consider the prevalence of mosquitoes and the likelihood of being bitten, the presence of mosquito-transmitted infections, how long you are likely to spend outdoors at night, the climate and the types of activities in which you will be participating.
Mosquito repellent helps prevent mosquito bites and reduces your risk of mosquito-transmitted infections such as West Nile virus and malaria.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency