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Best Mosquito Repellent [Ultimate 2021 Guide]
Mosquitos are pests. There’s no getting around that. Not many people will tell you that they like mosquitos, and they have a good reason for that. For a start, mosquitos are known to bite, and their bites can become extremely itchy and irritable. Mosquito bites can look and feel similar to bed bug bites, so it’s essential to know the difference. Some people are sensitive to mosquito saliva, making the bites hurt and itch even more. Mosquito bites can also come out in blisters in sensitive people. The last thing you want is to be bitten by a mosquito. Thankfully, we know some ways you can keep these pests away.
Other than biting you, mosquitoes are also annoying due to the way they behave. Like most insects, their wings make a noticeable and irritating buzzing sound when they are nearby. Mosquitos are relatively big for a bug, making their wings sound louder and more prominent than the average bug. If you are tired of living with mosquitos or want to take steps to protect you and your loved ones, invest in some of the best mosquito repellent to keep these pests at bay.
Advantages of Using Mosquito Repellent
There are plenty of advantages to using mosquito repellent, outside of the obvious one that they keep mosquitos away.
Most mosquito repellent solutions are portable. We’ve seen and sold mosquito repellent in sprays and creams or other topical applications. It’s easy to pack these up in a travel bag along with your sunscreen to keep some by your bed ready for night time use.
Safe for Kids and Pregnant Women
Many pest control solutions are made with heavy chemicals that make them unsafe for use around children and pregnant women. The good news is that several mosquito control solutions don’t use these chemicals and can be safely used around – and on – children and pregnant women.
Safe for Pets
Pets can be another problem area with certain pest control ingredients. The chemicals used can be dangerous for pets. However, that is not an issue with the top mosquito repellent. We know you don’t want to harm your pet any more than you want to be bitten by mosquitos!
There are Natural Options
One reason why the recommended mosquito repellent is safe for use around pets and children is that it makes use of natural ingredients. Mosquitoes find people to bite using a combination of things, including carbon dioxide and heat. Natural mosquito repellents use things that mosquitoes don’t like, such as natural smells and chemicals, to keep them away. Natural solutions are considered safer for use than chemical ones.
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Beware of the Potential Drawbacks in Using Mosquito Repellent
Unfortunately, repellents aren’t entirely 100% safe and foolproof. There are some potential drawbacks to be aware of, including;
May Counter the Effectiveness of Sunscreen
One of the most significant drawbacks of mosquito repellent is that it can interfere with sunscreen. Consider applying extra sunscreen when using repellent in sunny and warm areas where UV rays and mosquitoes are an issue. The two often come hand in hand.
Some Versions Contain Chemicals That Could be Allergens
Be sure to double-check the ingredients of repellent if you have known allergies, especially chemical allergies. The chemicals used in repellents are relatively safe, but they can still cause allergic reactions.
The Odor Can be Unpleasant
Repellents can sometimes have an unpleasant odor, particularly ones designed to repel mosquitoes with a strong smell. It’s a small price to pay for being mosquito-free, but you should still be prepared for a pungent odor.
Most Effective Mosquito Repellent Ingredients
Deet is the oldest and one of the most recommended mosquito repellent options around. Short for diethyltoluamide, DEET is available as a liquid, spray, lotion, and impregnated materials, including nets and wrist bands. There are over 100 different DEET products available to consumers and we love them all.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over a third of Americans use Deet products. Products used for direct application contain between 4% and 100% Deet, but most Deet products use between 10% and 30%.
What makes Deet an effective repellent is that it does just that; it repels mosquitos rather than kill them. Deet is one of the few pesticides that are safe to be applied directly to clothing and skin. Deet interferes with receptors in the antennae of insects to prevent them from finding you.
One of the best things about Deet is that it works on other bugs as well as mosquitos. Deet offers effective protection against chiggers, fleas, ticks, leeches, and other biting insects.
Picaridin, also known as icaridin, is Deet’s little brother. Picaridin is the second-most common insect repellent around. Picaridin is a chemical component of the piperidine chemical family. Picaridin was registered for use by the EPA in 2001 and has been popular ever since. It entered the American market in 2005 and is now used across the world.
Picaridin, much like Deet, works by repelling and deterring insects. It causes insects to avoid skin and clothing treated with icaridin. If they still come into contact, insects are deterred from feeding and biting. Picaridin creates a vapor barrier on the skin’s surface to discourage mosquitos and prevent them from landing on the skin. Picaridin is effective against mosquitos, ticks, and most other insects.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the few effective natural mosquito repellents we’ve seen. Some studies suggest lemon eucalyptus could be just as effective as Deet, if not more effective. Given that it comes with a lower risk of adverse side effects and works effectively, it’s worth trying lemon eucalyptus oil to see what it can do.
Lemon eucalyptus is effective against most biting insects, including mosquitos.
IR3535, also known as ethyl butyl-acetylamino propionate, is an insect repellent for mosquitos, lice, ticks, and other bugs. Even some bees and wasps are deterred by the smell of IR3535 and stay away.
IR3535 is a form of synthetic amino acid derived from carboxylic acid and acetamide. It is colorless and odorless and can be mixed with water to create creams, sprays, and lotions.
Tips on Deciding Which Mosquito Repellent is Best for You
Not all repellents are created equal. Here are some tips on how to choose the best mosquito repellent for you;
Check if it’s EPA Registered
The EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency. This is the government organization responsible for verifying and approving the use of repellents. Products registered with – and approved by – the EPA can be considered safer and more effective. The EPA is a sign of quality you can trust. We only recommend EPA-registered products.
Check the Protection Time
How much protection the product offers is worth checking. Choose a product that suits your needs. If you plan on spending a lot of time in areas with mosquitos, invest in a repellent that lasts a long time.
Check How Often It Should be Applied and Reapplied
How often do you need to apply it? Do kids need to use less than adults?
Choose a Pet-Friendly Option if Necessary
You wouldn’t want to risk the health and wellbeing of your pet. Check to ensure the product is safe for use around pets if you have them.
Does it Work with Sunscreen?
Do you need to apply sunscreen first, or the repellent? The repellent should have information on this.
Check the Instructions Regarding Washing Off
How do you safely wash off the repellent?
What Kind of Repellent is It?
Mosquito repellents come in sprays and lotions. Choose the option that’s right for you.
Best Mosquito Repellents You Can Buy
Ben’s Deet Insect Repellent
Ben’s Deet Insect Repellent, as the name implies, uses Deet as the main repellent ingredient. This spray-on mosquito repellent helps repel mosquitos and other insects. Spray the formula on skin, clothes, and bedding for effective protection that lasts for 10 hours. You only need to apply a small amount due to the fantastic potency.
Ben’s uses a wilderness formula and, unlike other similar repellents, is odorless. Don’t worry about the smell of this one as we think you’ll be lucky to notice a thing. Or unlucky, as the case may be. The bottle is incredibly portable which means you can have protection on the go. You can purchase this repellent on Amazon.
Coleman Deet Dry Formula Insect Repellent
Coleman Deet Dry Formula Insect Repellent is another Deet-based insect repellent. The Deet in this spray-on repellent interferes with the senses of a mosquito to keep them away. Deet is a little cheaper than Ben’s but doesn’t come with the same odorless nature. The high concentration makes it a highly effective repellent that works well with small applications.
What Coleman lacks in odorless-ness, it makes up for in having no grease and for being non-oily on skin. You can pick up this insect repellent online.
Off! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent
Off! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent is one of the best ways to tell insects like mosquitoes to get off you and your things. Off! comes in a spray form and is priced at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. It is a very affordable product, which has only made it more popular. Please note that the spray does have a mild scent to it, however.
The non-oily and non-greasy formula makes it comfortable to apply on skin. You can pick up this repellent at a very affordable price from Amazon.
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is a natural mosquito repellent. As the name implies, this spray repellent contains no Deet or Picaridin. Repel is available in a range of scented options. You can choose what you want the repellent to smell like, which will make it easier to live with. The natural oil is also great on your skin, and there is no grease to worry about.
This repellent is also on the low end of the price range, which makes it great value for money. You can pick your natural insect repellent from Amazon.
Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent
Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent keeps mosquitos at bay with Picaridin. The spray repellent is low-to-mid-range when it comes to price, giving you a premium product at an affordable price. Sawyer is an odorless insect repellent that, much like Repel, offers scented options. Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent is one of the best choices for people with sensitive skin. The effectiveness lasts for up to 12 hours against mosquitos.
Total Home Insect Repellent
Total Home Insect Repellent is a Deet-based insect repellent. The repellent comes in a spray form and is effective for treating large areas. You can keep your home secure against mosquitos and other repellents with this scented spray.
This perfect home solution for keeping mosquitos away can be purchased online.
Always avoid spraying mosquito repellent directly to your face — it’s best to put some on your hands and apply carefully on your face.
Need more info on protecting yourself against mosquitoes? Contact Pest Guide today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mosquito repellents typically don’t have an expiration date on the packaging unless they expire within three years. The best way to check the repellent is to spray it or squeeze a small bit of lotion/gel out of the tube and smell it. It’s likely the repellent is out of date if it smells different.
Not all insect repellents are created equal. Don’t assume an insect repellent works on mosquitos unless it says so on the packaging.
Mosquitos can develop tolerance against repellents. If your repellent isn’t working, consider using a different repellent. Keep trying until you find one that works. We can recommend the strongest and best products as well, so don’t be afraid to ask the experts for help.
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