Which Is the Most Effective Mosquito Repellent?

Medically Reviewed on 2/22/2021

Effective mosquito repellent

The most effective mosquito repellent is N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)
The most effective mosquito repellent is N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)

The most effective mosquito repellent is N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), also called diethyltoluamide.

  • DEET affects mosquitoes’ receptors, preventing them from detecting people. It was first developed by the US military.
  • It is recommended to use it in lower concentrations and limited frequency due to its side effects.
  • DEET at 30% is quite effective. The main ingredient of commercially sold repellents is DEET that is proven efficacy in keeping mosquitoes at bay. DEET applications last from 1.5 to 5 hours max.
  • DEET is safe to use for children of age 2 months and older at a concentration of 10-30%.

The side effects may include:

  • The most common side effect is rash in high concentrations.
  • It may melt the plastic on cameras, binoculars, and some synthetic clothing.
  • Few children and young are sensitive to it.

The other effective mosquito repellents are as follows:

Picardin:

  • This synthetic compound was developed to resemble piperine, a compound found in a group of plants that naturally produce black pepper.
  • Primarily, it helps block a person’s scent from the insects to avoid insect bites.
  • To use a solution containing picaridin, apply it directly to the skin and clothing.
  • However, it cannot be avoided to experience skin irritation at times.

Insect Repellent 3535 (IR3535):

  • It is also a synthetic compound with the chemical name ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate.
  • This chemical is a synthetic amino acid.
  • It blocks the insect’s sense of smell.
  • It’s an effective ingredient given that it has been used to avoid Aedes mosquito species that are the main carriers of Zika, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

Permethrin:

  • It is effective both as a pesticide and repellent.
  • It is not for use on the skin but is intended for clothing.
  • Permethrin can retain its potency for at least 2 weeks.
  • It can be applied to clothing, tent walls, and mosquito nets.
  • The combination of permethrin-treated clothing and DEET products applied to skin can offer excellent protection against mosquito bites even in demanding conditions.

The other common mosquito repellents are as follows:

  • Many herbs naturally repel mosquitoes. These may include garlic, lemongrass, cedarwood, basil, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, onions, and marigolds.
  • Camphor emits a strong small that is extremely effective in keeping mosquitoes away. Close all the doors and windows and light camphor within the room or put one camphor tablet in a bowl of water and replace it after every 2-3 days.
  • Essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, neem, citronella, eucalyptus, and mint oil work as powerful mosquito repellents. Mix a few drops of any of these essential oils in some water, add it to a spray bottle, and spray it around the home. Alternately, consider aromatherapy and introduce these essential oils within a vaporizer or an oil diffuser. Natural repellents are made from the oil extracts of plants. Lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, clove, and germanium are just some of the plants these natural solutions are made from. These offer minimal protection against mosquitoes for maximum 20 minutes after these are applied. Plus, they must be reapplied to your skin frequently.
  • Create a mosquito repellent spray with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of citronella oil. Spray it around the home.

Summary:

  • Best mosquito repellents according to ingredients: DEET, picaridin, and IR3535.
  • The reason that DEET, picardin, or any other repellents work is because they render the targeted individual “invisible” to the mosquito. Citronella candles, for example, mask and even combine with CO2 to render an individual or even a group “invisible.”

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 2/22/2021
References
Mosquito Repellents: What Works: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/avoid-mosquito-bites#1