Natural Mosquito Repellent
Many mosquito repellents, although very effective, contain synthetic chemicals such as DEET that may not appeal to some people. Alternative, natural mosquito repellent made from natural substances is available.
Effective natural mosquito repellent suitable for use in low and high risk malarial areas. Contains Citriodiol. Protects against mosquitoes and other biting insects for 6 hours after application. Suitable for adults and children.
Best Natural Mosquito Repellent
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is an essential oil steam-distilled from the leaves of lemon-scented eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus citriodora). Spray and lotion mosquito repellents typically contain between 30 and 40 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus. According to the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD) is the synthesised version of oil of lemon eucalyptus and can be applied to skin or clothing to repel mosquitoes. Natural mosquito repellent sprays and lotions typically contain 8 to 10 percent PMD. Mosi Guard Natural insect repellent pump action spray contains PMD.
Natural mosquito repellents containing PMD may provide similar levels of protection to products containing low levels of DEET, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PMD is registered for use as an insect repellent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
IR3535, also called Merck 3535, is a biopesticide derived from natural ingredients and is registered for use as a mosquito repellent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mosquito repellents typically contain between 7.5 and 20.07 percent IR3535.
Oil of citronella is made from dried grasses and has an odour which hinders a mosquito's ability to detect humans. Citronella is found in mosquito repellent candles and in topical mosquito repellents including sprays, lotions and wipes. Repellents applied to skin typically contain about 5 percent oil of citronella. Natural mosquito repellents containing citronella vary in their effectiveness.
Information About Natural Mosquito Repellent
It is also important to note that although natural mosquito repellents may effectively repel mosquitoes, their protection time may not be as long as repellents made with synthetic ingredients.
For example, tests carried out by the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory showed the average complete protection time of a mosquito repellent containing 23.8 percent DEET was 5 hours, but the average complete protection time of a mosquito repellent containing 10 percent citronella was only 20 minutes.
Regardless of whether a mosquito repellent is synthetic or natural, it is important to check the active ingredients in the product. The type and amount of active ingredient in a natural mosquito repellent determines how effective it will be at repelling mosquitoes and how safe you will be from bites. Whichever natural mosquito repellent you choose, make sure it is effective, especially if you are in an area where your chances of being bitten are high.
Remember that just because a mosquito repellent is labelled as "natural", it does not necessarily mean it is safe. Any mosquito repellent can potentially cause a skin reaction.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency