What Is the Best Repellent for Mosquitoes?

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Effective Mosquito Control: Shop Smart to Keep Away Mosquitoes

During the hot summer months, it’s important to do anything possible to avoid mosquito bites. Start by reducing sources of standing water on your property. It’s often imperative in warm climates to take additional mosquito control measures. Protect yourself and your family by choosing a safe and effective mosquito repellent. There’s an overwhelming number of options out there, and you should know which chemicals are effective, and in what concentrations. The EPA and CDC recommend using a repellent with one of several approved active ingredients.


Look for These Active Ingredients:


This effective repellent was developed by the US Army, and has been available for use since the 1950’s. It is available in concentrations from 5% to 100%. The lower the concentration, the less effective it is, but the safer it is for sensitive populations such as children. When buying a DEET repellent, it’s very important to choose the correct concentration. Be aware that DEET may cause reactions in some children. Before using, apply a bit of the repellent to a small area on your child’s arm. Wait a few hours to make sure that the skin doesn’t react negatively before you apply more. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, DEET concentrations under 35% are safe to use on children. A great choice for the whole family is a controlled-release DEET repellent with a concentration of 20-30%. 


Picaridin is a popular alternative to DEET. While it hasn’t been on the market quite as long as the previously mentioned chemical, it’s just as effective and lacks many of DEET’s negative qualities. Picaridin is effective against a wider range of insects than other repellents, and it doesn’t have an unpleasant odor. Look for a picaridin treatment of 20% concentration for maximum effect.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)

OLE is sometime called PMD, a name based on its chemical composition. It’s a synthetic form of a compound found in eucalyptus, and is just as effective as about 15%-20% DEET repellent. OLE is a great choice for those of you that prefer to go the natural way. Note that OLE may not be safe to use on children. Natural lemon eucalyptus oil has not been studied for its effectiveness and should not be used as an alternative to OLE. 

IR 3535

IR 3535 is another synthesised natural oil, similar to oil of lemon eucalyptus. It can be effective against mosquitoes for 4-8 hours.

Be Cautious When Selecting Repellents with “Natural Ingredients”

Natural remedies for a variety of ailments are all the rage recently. It’s important to keep in mind that natural remedies are not as effective as EPA certified chemicals. Natural repellents will wear off much faster than DEET, Picaridin, or other long-lasting chemicals. If you choose a natural repellent, make sure that you’re prepared to re-apply frequently throughout the day. 

bestmosquitorepellent2Pay Attention to Protection Time

Insect repellents last for varying lengths of time. Note how many hours your chosen repellent lasts, and whether or not it’s waterproof. In most cases, you’ll need to re-apply after going for a swim. Don’t choose a repellent that lasts less than an hour, or you’ll be checking your watch all day!

Avoid Products That Combine Sunscreen and Insect Repellent

Sunscreen reapplications are often needed much more frequently than insect repellent reapplications. Because of this variability, we recommend that you buy sunscreen and insect repellent separately. It’s safe to wear sunscreen and insect repellent together. Apply sunscreen first, and follow with insect repellent after your skin has absorbed most of the sunscreen.

Lotion or Spray-On?

Whether you choose to use a lotion or a spray repellent is dependent both on your personal preference and your situation. Sprays and lotions should both be safe for use on your body. Always follow the directions provided with the product. The major difference in use between sprays and creams or sticks is that creams and sticks must be applied only to the skin, whereas you can treat your clothing with a spray. If you plan on wearing long sleeves, then a spray is the way to go. Are you going on a long camping trip and feeling unsure which to use? Pack one of each!

Home Pest Control: Better Than Repellent

You can wear mosquito repellent every time you step outside if you want. You can remove all the standing water from your property, too, but this requires extreme diligence. A professionally devised mosquito control plan is the only foolproof method to keep away those pesky mosquitoes. Contact us now to get started.


February 15, 2019

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