The Best Mosquito Repellents



The best mosquito repellents are those in which offer full protection from head to toe; there is nothing worse than stepping outside to complete a task and finding that you can’t get it done without ending up with multiple itchy welts on your body from pesky mosquitoes that are looking to eat you alive! This is where mosquito repellents can be an amazing tool in overcoming this challenge.

Mosquito repellents are an easy and effective way to keep mosquitoes away from you; and when it comes to repellents, there are a vast amount of different types you can use. Some work better than others and below we will attempt to cover as many of them as possible!



DEET Spray On Repellent



One of the first things you may think of when it comes to mosquito repellent is spray on DEET. When it comes to repelling mosquitoes DEET is king for a few big reasons.

First, DEET works in a very unique way; when the mosquitoes and other insects are affected by DEET their odor receptors get completely scrambled and they can no longer detect the scents that tell them this is their food source. This results in a very confused mosquito that no longer sees you as a meal! Another reason why DEET is such a great repellent is because you don’t have to keep reapplying it frequently. Once you apply it you are protected for up to 8 hours!
DEET Spray Repellent


DEET Repellent Wipes Another convenient method of applying this repellent are DEET wipes; these end up fitting much better in backpacks for those who are going on a hike or a long trip through bug infested terrains.

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) they have done two thorough studies on DEET and concluded that it “does not present a health concern for the general population, including children.” [1]



Natural Spray On Repellent


For those who have mild skin reactions to DEET, or just prefer something natural, there are other options that work almost as good as DEET.

Natural repellents are typically composed of either distilled citronella oil, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Citronella oil is extracted from grass; whereas lemon eucalyptus is extracted from leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus plant.

Both of these alternatives are completely chemical free and provide effective protection from mosquitoes, the only difference is that the natural alternatives lasts a couple hours less than DEET.
Natural Citronella Spray Repellent
Natural Eucalyptus Spray Repellent



Citronella Candles & Tiki Torches



Citronella is oil that is distilled from grass, so a large benefit of burning citronella oil is that it is a completely natural product unlike other chemical products. Citronella oil also has a citrus like fragrance to it which is what is responsible for deterring mosquitoes away.

The citronella candles work well at deterring potential mosquitoes and other flying insects; the downside however is that it works best within a small 3 foot envelope; after the 3 feet radius the repelling effects start to weaken. So to make these candles really effective you would either need to be right next to the candle or setup multiple candles in a perimeter around the area you want to protect.
Citronella Candle
Tiki Torches Tiki torches are another great way of keeping mosquitoes away while at the same time adding a cool ambiance to your yard!

While the initial cost of buying the tiki torches will cost a little more than the candles, you will end up saving more money because it costs less to burn the fuel for the torches than it does to keep replacing the candles.

If you are going to invest in tiki torches make sure you buy a citronella based oil to shoo away those pesky flying bugs.



Clip On Mosquito Repellent



Another choice in repellents is a battery powered fan that emits mosquito repellent continuously for hours before needing a refill. This product is called OFF Clip-on; the advantage of this is that instead of applying sprays or wipes to your skin, you can just clip this unit on your belt and be covered from head to toe!

However there is also a downside to this product as well. Whenever you move the repellent surrounding you does not move with you and can take up to a minute or two to fully surround you again. So if you plan on going for a walk around your neighborhood than you may want to consider another option. If you only plan using this while sitting on your deck or doing something that requires little movement than this is a great option for repelling insects.
Clip On Mosquito Repellent



Wristband Repellent



Wristband Mosquito Repellent There is also a product that allows you to wear comfortable and colorful wristbands that will keep you covered from mosquitoes for up to 72 hours. When you are finished with the repellent you can put it in a re-sealable zip lock bag that comes with the wristbands.

These wristbands are super convenient and a great alternative to spraying repellent on your skin; unfortunately these wristbands also have the same downfall as the fan unit, as you move the item becomes less effective; on top of this the longer you wear the item the less effective it will be.

This is a great product to try out and you may have no problems with it at all; but keep in mind that if you start to notice that you are not staying fully protected, you might have to settle with another alternative in repellents.



ThermaCELL Mosquito Protection



ThermaCELL creates a very similar effect that the citronella candles and tiki torches have on a surrounding area. Instead of burning citronella oil this product uses allethrin, which is a chemical that is typically used in insecticides. The unit will heat up a repellent mat with a small amount of propane, which then creates a 15 x 15 foot zone of protection around it.

This product claims that you can it around and still obtain this 15x15 feet of protection; and while you may still get some protection out of it while moving, it will be far less effective than if you keep it in one spot.

Another option if you don’t like the remote like look of the pocket sized version is to get the ThermaCELL Lantern, which not only looks more pleasing, but it also gives off some light while giving you the same 15x15 feet of protection!
ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Lantern



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References


1. EPA US Environmental Protection Agency “Safety Review of DEET”, EPA US Environmental Protection Agency, 30 Jun. 2016. Retrieved on 7 Oct. 2016.