Best Mosquito Repellents

Mosquito Repellents - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Mosquito Repellents Buying Guide

Nobody likes a constant buzzing sound in the ear while you are relaxing outside. Even on hikes, camping trips, and other outdoor activities, mosquitoes can create a lot of nuisance. If you are looking for a simple yet effective way to tackle these little maniacs, then you should opt for suitable mosquito repellents.

However, selecting suitable repellents need proper knowledge of different elements. You have to consider the ingredient, safety, effectiveness, concentration, and many other additional properties. To save your time and find all the necessary information, you should refer to a comprehensive buying guide.

With the guide, you can quickly evaluate all the characteristics and funnel down the best product. But, first, let us go through a quick introduction to understand the product properly.

What are mosquito repellents? What are its advantages?

Mosquitoes are everywhere, not a place to bite do they spare! Breeding in water stagnant here and there, do you know how much they scare?

Summer and monsoon are the favourite seasons of biting vampires who not only suck your blood but transmit deadly diseases.

Fumigation and the cleaning of stagnant water around your habitat are not enough to stop their assault. You need to be more effective in fighting against them.

Chikungunya, dengue, malaria are all their gifts. Alas! We still don't have any vaccines available to protect ourselves against their attack. Thanks to the invention of mosquito repellents. Our lives have become a lot easier than it used to be before.

Now, you can step out fearlessly and enjoy your outdoor stay to the fullest. Repellents are the best products available to stay protected from them. These are skin and clothing friendly.

Their primary aim is to keep mosquitoes far away from you. Others are also specifically dedicated to killing them, and not only to repel. Repellents come in all three states that are gas, liquid, and solids.

The compound used determines where they are supposed to be used. Whether on the skin or the clothes.


To keep yourself protected, it is always recommended to use a repellent instead of going out without using one. They have uncountable benefits, and some of them are listed below.

  1. When you use it daily, you'll understand how effective and user friendly it is.
  1. Highly portable, as they come in small packages that allow you to carry them on the move.
  1. Extremely healthy to use even by small babies, expecting mothers and your canine companions.
  1. Some use natural compounds and avoid using harsh chemicals.

Why should you read a buying guide before buying appropriate mosquito repellents?

With the breeding season on and the possibility of large-scale spreading diseases due to a single bite, repellents are the most needed to arm yourself.

To ensure that you are equipped with the right type of repellent, investment in a quality product is always necessary. But in this black-and-white setting, how do you choose which one is best?

This buying guide harbors the answer to that. Here you will find the intricate details which you should look for in the best mosquito repellent. These details, for your better understanding, have been condensed in a simplified form.

Hence, to pick out the best, let's first have a look at all the key features of the best possible mosquito repellent.

Types of Mosquito Repellents

There are several forms of repellents in the market to match everybody's convenience. You can use creams or bands instead of sprays if you are suffering from breathing problems.

If you have got oily skin, other alternatives can be chosen. There is one variant out there to satisfy everyone searching for their best match.

Typically, five types of repellents are available, which are listed below. Go through each one of them and then decide which one is suitable for you.

  1. Sprays

Similar in texture like your favourite cologne, these sprays are very effective for use. They can be sprayed on the skin or your clothing. Spray repellents are the most common repellents found these days.

The best part is, they do not get washed away due to sweating and stay for a longer duration.

  1. Creams and lotions

These are safe to be applied on the skin and form a protective shield all around you. These are the best choice if you are suffering from breathing problems or do not like to spray aerosols.

These have a very mild fragrance and do not give you a headache. These can also be used on babies to protect them from mosquito bites.

  1. Mosquito repelling clothes

These are finely woven fabrics that are infused with mosquito-repelling materials. You can easily wear these clothes and walk about freely to avoid the use of any product. These keep you protected, and you feel comfortable every time.

  1. Repellent devices

Just like you, the candles, when lighted, emit a sweet fragrance. These devices emit a strong scent that prevents the mosquitoes from entering the location. Coils, sticks, and candles are some of the devices which have a repellent oil in them to help in the same.

You will also find devices named Therma Cells, which are excellent to be used outdoors when you are camping or hiking. These have prolonged effectiveness and are more portable than coils and candles.

  1. Electronic mosquito repelling devices

If a bat can find its prey through radio waves, even mosquitoes can respond to ultrasonic sound. Researches have shown that mosquitoes fly away due to ultrasonic sound.

Using this technology, electronic devices have been invented. These give out ultrasonic sound when switched on. This drives out the mosquitoes and provides you a mosquito-free environment.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate mosquito repellents


  1. DEET

Among all the ingredients used in a mosquito repellent, DEET is a chemical compound that is most efficient and is produced in laboratories. This is the most disliked compound in the mosquito community.

This compound is very common in industries producing repellents. It has no adverse effects and is very safe to use.

DEET concentrations

The concentration of DEET determines the duration to which the repellent is effective. Search for mosquito repellents that have 50-100% DEET concentrations in them. This is because repellents having this dense concentration lasts more than 10 hours.

Mentioned below are some DEET concentration levels. This will enable you to assess your requirements and then purchase the right one.

  1. 20-50%
  • Ideal for use in areas that have fewer mosquitoes.
  • Can be used for casual outings where you are not exposed to mosquitoes for longer durations
  • Reapply it at a regular interval of 6-8 hours, focusing on the humidity level and your sweating rate.
  1. 20-40%
  • Extremely essential in places with a high risk of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes
  • Before going outdoors, apply to exposed parts of the skin.
  • Suitable for children who cross the 2-year age limit.
  • For full protection, it needs to be applied once again at an interval of every 10-12 hours.
  1. 50-95%
  • Mandatory use at sites with high mosquito-related health risks.
  • Apply to exposed parts of the skin.
  • Suitable for kids who have crossed the age limit of 6 years.
  • Once again, apply it at a regular interval of 8-10 hours for full coverage.
  1. Picaridin

Picaridin, recently discovered by our esteemed scientists, is a chemical compound that is very healthy to use for all except babies under three months old.

If you compare picaridin with DEET, you will notice that using a small amount of picaridin like 20 percent is just as effective as using a highly concentrated DEET. Besides, if you use mosquito repellent with sunscreen, it is more appropriate to use picaridin than DEET.

  1. IR 3535

Another essential compound that helps scare off the mosquito family is classified as slightly less effective than DEET. Thirty-five percent of IR 3535 needs to be applied to achieve the performance of 15 percent of DEET.

Repellents with this compound are considered safe for use by humans of all ages and their pets as well.

The benefit worth discussing is that IR 3535 is eco friendly and poses no harm even to aquatic life.

  1. Permethrin

Clothing friendly mosquito repellent, the permethrin-impregnated fabric is best to use if you want to kill the mosquitoes without applying anything to the skin.

Perfect for those with skin disorders. Permethrin is strictly intended for use on clothes only, and application on the skin can result in rash and itching.

It is highly effective for six months, after which you will need to apply it again. Permethrin is not eco-friendly, so it is not advised to deposit your used clothes in water bodies or soil.

If you have been searching for safe ingredients that suit small children and expecting mothers to use, there's nothing better than permethrin.

  1. Citridiol

Scientific studies have shown citridiol to be the only existing natural compound used for mosquito repelling. The plant which secretes this compound is eucalyptus citriodora.

The effectiveness and concentration are relatively similar to DEET. Nonetheless, it is recommended that it be used no more than twice a day, and if a child uses it, then it should be older than three years.

  1. Essential oils

A blend of 6 oils, they are the purest repelling component in mosquito repellent products. Although natural, their efficiency is much less. Therefore, it is not advised to use them in areas where you are likely to encounter a large swarm of mosquitoes.

Besides, pregnant women and children under seven years are still not allowed to use it. They do not last long and can expose you any time and let the monsters bite you.

Tips for best ingredients


You should be aware of the basics before using any product, how? When? And Where? It will help you get the most out of it and bring it to good use. Some general guidelines on how to use mosquito repellents are stated below.

  1. Check your area well and find out if mosquito-causing diseases like anopheles etc. are present.
  1. Focus and adhere to the directions on the instruction booklet. You can become a target of their attack if you miss reapplying your repellent at the time indicated.
  1. Just add the repellent to the external parts of your body. Using sensitive parts such as eyes, inner nostrils, etc. is not allowed. If you do so, it will affect your health.
  1. Keep it away from kids, and just apply it under your guidance.
  1. Be vigilant when pets are around. Don't let them lick your hands after the repellent has been applied.
  1. Repellents are not waterproof, and thus need to be used again after the hands have been washed and if there is a possibility of them being washed away.
  1. Don't simultaneously add the sunscreen and repellent together. Maintain some time gap between the two.


In general, mosquito repellents aren't harmful. Yet ensure you don't have skin-related problems before applying them. Allergy prone and sensitive skin can't tolerate compounds found in repellents.

Hence be very sure before applying any type of repellent on your skin, which you might regret later.


Repellent has to be used in certain concentrations when being applied to children. If the amount is more, it can be harmful from the health point of view.

  1. Kids below six months

Mosquito repellent clothes are an ideal choice when it comes to shielding your baby, who is below six months. If you do not want to use any type of product or even repellent clothes, mosquito nets can be a great choice.

  1. Kids between 6-12 years

Repellents having a 10% DEET concentration are recommended for this age group. Below two years of age, one use is advised, and kids above two years can use it maximum two times.

Repellents designed for kids last only for 2-3 hours. This long exposure is safe for kids. Extended exposures can harm their health. Also, never allow your children to apply the repellent on their own. Always keep an eye on them when they do so.

Pregnant women

When you are expecting, you should always be careful about the new life inside you. Diseases like the Zika virus can harm your unborn baby even if the mosquito bites you. To protect yourself and the new one inside, make use of IR 3535 and DEET, which has a concentration maximum of 30%.

The recommended times of application is a maximum of three and strictly not to be extended. Products like citridiol are not recommended while you can wear clothes infused with permethrin.


Mosquitoes do not spare anyone, and they even pose a great threat to your canine companions. DEET and picaridin-containing repellents are specifically not approved for pets. You can get your pet sick with DEET added items, and it is best to stay away from them.

Products made from essential oils are suitable for use on pets. They have a mild effect and are not harmful to your beloved pets.

The added advantage that you get by using pet-friendly repellents is that your pets do not get attacked by ticks. Also, to protect your canine beings from fleas as well, you can use repellents that have citridiol in them.

Ease of application

The job of mosquito repellents does not finish after providing protection and being effective for a longer time. Besides being successful, it should give you the ease of applying it without putting in any effort.

Mosquito repellents, other than the four types, feature four distinct styles of application. They are:

  1. Pump bottles

This enables your repellent to cover the entire area in one shot so that you don't have to apply it again for the leftover surface. This saves time and is a convenient method.

  1. Aerosol sprays

Works similar to a pump bottle but covers large surfaces. The drawback while using aerosol sprays is that all the repellent that you intend to apply on yourself does not land up there. A large proportion gets dissolved in the air as well.

  1. Lotions

It is product friendly because it doesn't allow the wastage of your repellents like the pumps and sprays. It becomes a bit messy to apply it on your skin while you are covered with sweat. Also, by using lotions, you cannot judge the amount needed.

  1. Wipes

Though expensive, wipes soaked with repellent are very easy to use even while you are on the move. You do not have to worry about the quantity required or any unnecessary wastage.

Effectiveness on skin

Despite their promises, the majority of mosquito repellents do not meet their standards. Citridiol, being naturally obtained, is not as effective as all other chemically derived compounds,

That is why citridiol isn't very popular in the repellent making industry. When you study in detail, you will find that DEET is the most powerful of all of them. Yet daily use of it will make the mosquitoes around you, accustomed to the smell.

To overcome this problem, you can switch between DEET and picaridin at regular intervals. Since picaridin is as effective as DEET, this will help you in fooling the mosquitoes and, at the same time, prevent them from coming near you.


Mosquito repellents are generally safe for both children and adults if used in the quantities prescribed. Children under three months would be better off avoiding repellents. Use the mosquito net instead to keep them secure.

You should also search for a child-friendly repellent to be 100 % sure the substance does not affect them.

Some countries have laid down legal guidelines to maintain the safety standards of certain drugs. This helps them to monitor the substance's effectiveness and how safe it is to use.

If your country also has rules of this nature, stay assured that you are safe and protected. Remember, follow the instructions and check for Drug Administration office stamps, labels, and concentration of the ingredients before you buy your repellent.


It's still the perception that a strong stingy scent needs to be contained in mosquito repellents to prevent the blood-sucking insects from coming near you.

This had been a thing of the past. Repellents made these days have a very mild smell that smells like you don't have any chemicals on your body. It erases your worries about the unpleasant odor that insect repellents used to possess.

Even the repellents which have DEET in them, have a good scent in them which soothes your mind and also avoids any headache which you may have otherwise.

Things to avoid

There are various aspects of mosquito repellents that may misguide you. Avoiding them is the best thing that you can do. To help you out, listed below are some points which you should avoid while purchasing a mosquito repellent.

  1. Stay away from fake promises

Many companies sell their products, promising that they use natural ingredients only, which are highly effective. By now, after having read so much about the repellents, you must be aware of how effective natural ingredients are.

Hence, it is better to stay away from retailers and manufacturers who make fake claims which may pose a threat to you.

  1. Don't buy your product based on concentration and ingredient

Sprays and pumps containing DEET or picaridin are less effective as compared to lotions or wipes. This is because the former leads to some amount of repellent wastage, which the latter does not.

Also, if you see in terms of DEET and picaridin, they both are equally effective. If a product has 20% picaridin in it and another one has 30% DEET in it, you should always incline towards DEET because it is much more reliable and effective.

  1. Don't combine sunscreen and mosquito repellent

Both of these products are different in terms of function and construction. Hence, it would be a blunder to use both of them simultaneously.

To get the best results and enjoy the most out of them individually, it is recommended that you apply your sunscreen before the repellent and wait for at least 15-20 minutes before applying the other.

Top tips for using the repellents safely

For enhanced effectiveness and to prevent any kind of side-effects, it is always recommended to use your mosquito repellents safely and in the right manner. Some of the best tips to do the same are:

  1. Only apply your mosquito repellent to an exposed surface of the skin. If it is intended for clothing, do not use it on skin.
  1. Just use the correct amount so that the exposed area can be protected. Massive use carries several risks and can be hazardous for your skin.
  1. If you are injured and bruised, don't apply repellents to that area.
  1. Don't spray directly on your face. Instead, spray it on your palm and then rub it on the skin of your face.
  1. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before you have a meal. This ensures no amount of repellent goes with your food inside your body.


  1. Will the repellent ruin my clothes?

No, most of the products are safe for all the apparel. However, before using the repellents on your tent fabric, you should read the instructions and see whether the product is safe for it or not.

  1. What is the active time range of the mosquito repellents?

The range depends on the concentration and type of ingredients used in the product. Different products have different time ranges, so study the metric properly before selecting one.

  1. Can you use the product for a lifetime?

The repellents have a long shelf life and provide adequate protection against the flying maniacs. However, after a long time, they start losing their properties and become inefficient. So, you should buy a new one for proper protection.

Final Verdict

With suitable mosquito repellents, you can save yourself and your loved ones from different diseases. All you need to do is select a suitable product.

In this guide, we have presented all the necessary information in an organized way. Go through all the pointers and make a suitable purchase. / - © Copyright 2020