Mosquito Repellents

Choosing the best mosquito repellent in the market is easy as long as you know what you are looking for. Understanding these aspects will help you pick the one that works best for you. One sure way of ruining the perfect summer vacation is getting mosquitoes bites and living in fear of getting serious diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. If you are planning to spend the whole day outside or camping outdoors at night, it would be best if you bring along with you mosquito repellent. This could come in different forms such as lotion, cream, sprays, incense sticks, roll-ons or mosquito zapper.

What is Mosquito Repellent

A mosquito or an insect repellent is a substance that are applied on human skin, clothing or other surfaces that prevent mosquitoes from sitting or crawling on that surface. Many mosquito repellents are available in the market to protect you from mosquitoes and give you the length of protection you need, based on your planned activity. An effective mosquito repellents can protect you from mosquito bites and thus save you from many mosquito borne diseases like St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile virus.

How Mosquito Repellent Work

It should be noted that repellents do not kill mosquitoes. They just make human unattractive to mosquitoes. Repellents prevent mosquito bites by inhibiting the mosquito’s stimuli for blood feeding. The type of mosquito repellent used and concentration of active ingredient decides the number of hours a person can be protected from mosquito bites. The best mosquito repellents will provide protection from mosquito bites for many hours with a single application. Repellents should be evenly applied on all exposed areas of the skin to make it effective, as mosquitoes easily detect the areas where repellent is not applied.

What Kinds of Mosquito Repellents Are Available

Mosquito repellents that are available today can be classified into two categories synthetic chemicals and plant derived chemicals. Synthetic repellents include DEET (diethyltoluamide), Picaridin (also known as Icaridin) and IR3535. Plant based repellent include Citronella, Geraniol and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Different formulations of these repellents are present that varies in the amount of active ingredient (substance that actually repels the mosquito).

Which Mosquito Repellent You Should Use

DEET: It was developed by the US Army in the 1950s and is the most effective and widely used mosquito repellent in United States. Repellents with DEET should not be used on infants younger than 2 months of age. Children above three months can use repellents with DEET concentrations of 30% or less. Mosquito repellents with higher concentration does not provide additional protection, but they provide protection for a longer period.

Picaridin: It was developed in the 1990s, is as effective as DEET and have much pleasant scent compare to DEET. It is mostly available in formulations ranging from less than 10% up to 20%.

Permethrin: Repellents with active ingredient are intended for use on items such shoes, clothing, camping gear, bed nets etc. They should not be used on skin.

Citronella: Citronella oil is a common ingredient in plant-based mosquito repellents. It is distilled from two species of grasses and is a mixture of about eighty different compounds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted skin irritation, and that one type of citronella oil caused some allergic reactions.

Geraniol: is found in many plant oils, including citronella, lemongrass, and oil of rose. In 1990s, researchers identified geraniol as “the first effective alternative to products containing DEET.” Geraniol based mosquito repellent protects mosquito bites between 2 to 4 hours depending on the different species of mosquitoes.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus: This is a natural, plant-based oil. It works as well at preventing mosquito bites as products that contain lower concentrations (6.65%) of DEET. These products should not be used on children under the age of 3 years.

Best Mosquito Repellents

Repel 100 Insect Repellent

Repel 100
The repel 100 contains 98.11% DEET and does a great job at repelling mosquitoes and insects. It can provide protection from mosquito bites for up to 10 hour, but coverage length can vary if you get wet or if you’re sweating excessively. The 4-ounce pump is large enough for high use consumers, yet small enough for easy portability


  • Ideal for extreme environments
  • Repels mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and biting flies up to 10-hour
  • Larger size for high consumption consumer, yet small enough to be portable
  • 98.11-Percent DEET is the most concentrated formula available
  • Made of 100-percent DEET

Sawyer Products Premium MAXI-DEET Insect Repellent Spray

This Insect Repellent Spray is very effective against mosquitoes. It contains active Ingredient DEET 98.11% other ingredients 1.89%. One of the plus point of this repellent is that, it is almost odour less, you have to put it right up to your nose to smell. You can apply this repellent anywhere be it on skin, clothing, and mosquito or head nets and enjoy the great outdoors without unwanted “friends”.


  • Ideal for extreme environments
  • Effective up to 10 hours
  • Exclusive low odor formula
  • Very effective in areas densely inhabited by bugs
  • 100% DEET

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion

This insect repellent was developed for the military to provide long lasting protection against mosquitoes for up to 12 hours. It repels mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers, gnats, fleas and deer flies. It contains about 34% DEET and very easy to apply.


  • Allows time released protection for up to 12 Hours
  • Splash & Sweat resistant to ensure consistent protection through all your outdoor activities
  • Repels deer ticks that may carry Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes that may carry West Nile Virus
  • Lotion formulation developed for and used by the US Military
  • Freeze Thaw Stable

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent Trigger Spray

Sawyer Permethrin insect repellents are for use with clothing, tents, and other gear. It will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or any of your outdoor gear. Permethrin is also an effective repellent against mosquitoes and flies and can be used in conjunction with a skin based repellent.


  • Very less odor
  • Does not harm fabrics and finishes
  • Lasts up to 6 weeks or up to 6 washings
  • 12-ounce capacity treats up to 2 complete outfits

Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent

This insect repellent contains 25% DEET, but it is effective enough against mosquitoes and ticks and provides protection for about 10 hours.


  • Up to 10 hours of protection from mosquitoes; ticks; chiggers; gnats; no-see-ums; fleas and biting flies
  • 25-Percent DEET formula
  • Sweat-resistant formula
  • Pump spray-6 ounce

For more popular mosquito repellents check this below table

RepellentHourly Protection TimeActive Ingredient%Container TypeRatingBuying Option
Coleman 40 Percent DEET Insect Repellent
Coleman 40 Percent DEET Insect Repellent
8DEET40Spray4.5Buy On Amazon
Off! Off! Deep Woods Sportsman Insect Repellent
Off! Off! Deep Woods Sportsman Insect Repellent
8DEET30Spray4.4Buy On Amazon
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Wipes
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Wipes
6DEET25Wipes4.4Buy On Amazon
Off! Deep Woods Sportsmen
Off! Deep Woods Sportsmen
10DEET98.25Spray4.3Buy On Amazon
Bens 100: Insect Repellent
Bens 100: Insect Repellent
10DEET95Spray4.3Buy On Amazon
OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent
Bens 100: Insect RepellentOFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent
2DEET7Lotion3.8Buy On Amazon
Tender Ben's 30% Deet
Tender Ben's 30% Deet
8DEET30Wipes4.3Buy On Amazon
Ben's 30 DEET Eco-Spray
Ben's 30 DEET Eco-Spray
8DEET30Spray4.3Buy On Amazon
Natrapel 8 hour
Natrapel® 8 hour
8Picaridin20Spray4.0Buy On Amazon
Natrapel 8 Hour deet free repellent
Natrapel, 8 Hour deet free repellent
8Picaridin20Wipes4.1Buy On Amazon
Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent
Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent
8Picaridin20Spray4.2Buy On Amazon
Sawyer Fisherman Formula Insect Repellent
Sawyer Fisherman Formula Picaridin Insect Repellent
8Picaridin20Spray4.1Buy On Amazon
Repel Sportsman Gear Smart Insect Repellent
Repel Sportsman Gear Smart Insect Repellent
8Picaridin15Spray3.9Buy On Amazon
Avon SSS Bug Guard Plus Picaridin
Avon SSS Bug Guard Plus Picaridin Pump Spray
6Picaridin10Spray4.3Buy On Amazon
Avon Sss Bug Guard + Picaridin With Vitamin-E
Avon Sss Bug Guard + Picaridin With Vitamin-E
6Picaridin10Spray4.5Buy On Amazon
Avon SSS Bug Guard Plus Picaridin
Avon SSS Bug Guard Plus Picaridin
6Picaridin10Wipes4.5Buy On Amazon
3 In 1 Natural And Organic Sunscreen
3 In 1 Natural And Organic Sunscreen
4Citronella4.2Lotion4.2Buy On Amazon
Insect Shield Synergy
4Citronella4.2Lotion4.1Buy On Amazon
Prevent Natural Mosquito Repellent

6Lemon Eucalyptus30Spray4.0Buy On Amazon
Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus
6Lemon Eucalyptus30Spray4.2Buy On Amazon
BullFrog Mosquito Coast Insect Repellent
8IR353520Spray4.1Buy On Amazon
Repel 100 Insect Repellent

8DEET98.1Spray4.4Buy On Amazon
Sawyer Products Premium MAXI-DEET
8DEET98.1Spray4.4Buy On Amazon
3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent
12DEET35Lotion4.4Buy On Amazon
Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent
10DEET25Spray4.5Buy On Amazon
OFF! Botanicals Plant-Based Insect Repellent
4P-Menthone10Spray4.3Buy On Amazon
Coleman Botanicals Insect Repellent
6Lemon Eucalyptus30Spray4.1Buy On Amazon
All Terrain Herbal Armor Insect Repellent

2Citronella10Spray4.0Buy On Amazon
Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin
6Permethrin0.5Spray4.2Buy On Amazon
Cutter All Family Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes
6DEET7.15Wipes4.4Buy On Amazon

Mosquito Repellents For Babies

Most parents are worried in choosing a mosquito repellents for their babies or toddlers. There are not sure whether it is safe to use any mosquito repellents on young babies. According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that repellents with DEET are safe to use on kids as young as 2 months old. Though AAP recommends that products for children should contain no more than 30 percent DEET.

Cutter All Family Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes 7.15% DEET

Cutter All Family Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes
This mosquito repellent contains 7.15% DEET and provide upto 2 hours of protection against mosquito and other insects. Cutter wipes are safe for kids as the 7.15% DEET formula meets the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for use on children ages 2 months and older. The wipes are soft and pleasant to use,the wipes are packaged in a resealable pouch, so they won’t dry out after opening.


  • Convenient wipes allow controlled application on faces, ears and necks
  • Perfect for the entire family
  • Cooling clean scen
  • 7.15% DEET

Cutter 51020 Unscented Insect Repellent 10-Percent DEET

Cutter 51020 Unscented Insect Repellent 10-Percent DEET
This mosquito repellent has very little of any scent. It contains 10% DEET and works well against mosquito bites. It’s safe to use for kids. It’s a very easy spray to apply without the greasy feeling of many other insect repellents and you don’t have to rub it in and get it all over your hands either. There is no odor to it so you don’t have to worry about smelling like toxic chemicals.


  • Long lasting protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects
  • Convenient aerosol formula
  • 10% DEET

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent V, 25% DEET

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent provides long protection from mosquito bites. The spray leaves a slick layer of protection on the skin, but can also be sprayed on non-synthetic clothes. Deep Woods Off is quite effective in warding off not just mosquitoes but other bugs such as ticks, biting flies, gnats & chiggers.


  • Effective protection that won’t stain and resists perspiration
  • Aerosol spray allows for even coating
  • Provides long protection from mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats & chiggers.
  • 25-Percent DEET

Check out for more mosquito repellents for babies.

How To Decide Which Mosquito Repellent Is Best

Before you buy any insect repellent, read the label carefully to determine what the active ingredient is and it’s percentage. As the protection duration varies depending upon the active ingredient and it’s concentration. DEET is said to be most effective against mosquito bites, but in 2005, CDC also added to two more repellents Picaridin and Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus. However oil of lemon eucalyptus has not been tested against many species of mosquitoes that spread diseases and it should not be used on children less than 3 years of age.

It should be noted that mosquito repellents do not protect every individual equally. The effectiveness of a repellent depends on many factors such mosquito species, gender, level of activity and attractiveness of the human using the repellent. You should consider the following when choosing the best mosquito repellent:

  • Does your area or the place you going to visit is known to have mosquito-borne disease
  • Are there lot mosquitoes present?
  • Will you spent time outdoors at night for longer than an hour?
  • Will you be around heavily vegetated, humid areas during the day?
  • Is the humidity and temperature high?

How To Apply Mosquito Repellents

  • When applying mosquito repellent, watch for any reactions. Certain people are allergic to ingredients in the repellent.
  • Repellent must be applied to all areas of exposed skin, but avoid applying to mouth, eyes, wounds, cut or sunburned or irritated skin.
  • Applying large amounts of mosquito repellent does not result in longer periods of protection against mosquito bites
  • Some mosquito repellents can be applied directly to clothing, but check the label first. Do not apply to skin that are meant for clothing.
  • When using pump spray, it is important to evenly cover the skin and this may be best done by first applying the mosquito repellent from the container and then spreading over skin using your hands.
  • Never allow children to apply repellents on their own.

Are Mosquito Repellents Safe?

  • It is often believe that synthetic repellents such as DEET or picaridin are toxic to humans. However, despite the widespread use of such repellents throughout the world, very few cases of adverse reactions have ever been recorded.
  • If there is any skin reaction to a repellent, wash the site with warm soapy water. For serious reactions, consult a doctor and provide details of the repellent used.
  • Read the label carefully and apply according to the instructions. Generally a small quantity of repellent is enough for effective protection.
  • There may be some repellents that cause mild skin irritation, but failure to use repellents in mosquito infested locations will almost certainly result in bites and the real possibility of acquiring an diseases.