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
- 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
- Ideal for extreme environments
- Effective up to 10 hours
- Exclusive low odor formula
- Very effective in areas densely inhabited by bugs
- 100% DEET
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
- Convenient wipes allow controlled application on faces, ears and necks
- Perfect for the entire family
- Cooling clean scen
- 7.15% DEET
- Long lasting protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects
- Convenient aerosol formula
- 10% DEET
- 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.