The quality of a mosquito repellent depends on many factors. DEET and picaridin are some of the most popular and effective repellents in the market.
A repellent comes in various forms like cream, lotion, incense sticks, sprays, roll-ons, wired mesh with electric supply or a rechargeable mosquito zapper, etc. There are natural oils too like neem oil, eucalyptus oil, etc. that act as repellents.
There are some well-known factors that attract mosquitoes. Dark clothes, moist swampy areas, excess body heat, sweat are some of them. Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of uric acid too. Studies show that excess fat also attracts mosquitoes to humans. Research is still on for detecting the chemicals that attract mosquitoes.
The application of different types of mosquito repellents is based on different conditions, for example, incense sticks are the best repellents for places like your home. However this won’t stand true for choosing a repellent for the garden area, since the incense stick will not have any repellant effect in an open space. The best repellent that can be used in a yard would be a cream or lotion applied to the skin. The principle behind the working of ointment repellents is that it does not repel the mosquitoes away practically, but instead it blocks the skin odors, to which the mosquitos are attracted to.
The best repellents typically have one of the following substances:
- DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)
- Lemon eucalyptus oil
- Picaridin (KBR 3023)
- Neem oil
- Citronella oil
- Catnip oil
- Cedar oil
The concentration of these active ingredients vary according to different formulations by different manufacturers. Apart from these substances, hikers and people who love camping can try rubbing alcohol too, to stay protected against mosquito bites.
Lemon eucalyptus oil (Corymbia citriodora): Being an entirely natural extract, this essential oil can be directly applied on the skin and does not have any side effects. The active ingredient in the oil is p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD).
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent: With a concentration of around 23-24% DEET, this product can be relied upon for keeping campers and hikers free from mosquito bites.
Avon Skin So Soft: This is a repellent for babies which has the chemical IR3535 (3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester) in it. There are other products of Avon that do not have IR3535 in them, which has not been proved to be very effective for longer durations.
Hope this review and information helps you stay healthy and mosquito bite-free.