Mosquitos are a nuisance to man, and not just an ordinary nuisance, but a disease-carrying vector at that—and they’ve been wreaking havoc in the lives of many for so long. Getting rid of them in our surroundings cannot be achieved 100%, and we can only try to keep their population at the barest minimum and then employ preventative measures to curb their bites. And even if by observing the highest degree of sanitation in and around the living premises, you somehow managed to get rid of all the mosquitos, what happens when you go outdoors, away from your home? How do you protect yourself and your family from the menace of mosquito bites?
You may decide to take a hike in the countryside, go camping, have some relaxing time by the beach, or engage in any other outdoor activity which is likely to expose you to mosquitos and other bothersome insects and bugs. In cases like this, you’ll most likely need to protect yourself with a mosquito repellent so you can dedicate your time to having fun—and not spend it swatting away at mosquitos and other insects.
And if you’re living in an area infested with mosquitos, bugs, and insects, you’ll absolutely need to add a mosquito repellent to your anti-mosquito-and-bugs arsenal for the protection of the entire family.
Traditional mosquito repellents contain active ingredients that produce scents that are offensive to most bugs and insects, thereby making them flee from the source. There are different types of mosquito repellents as well, so if you have overly-sensitive skin, you may need to test several options before getting the one that agrees with your skin. And if you’re going to use it on a child, there are those that are mild and child-friendly.
Apart from the common types that you can apply like body lotions and sunscreens, you can choose to go with the bracelet type so you can make a fashion statement while repelling pesky flies and bugs. But if you’re just plain averse to any type of chemical touching your skin, there are mosquito repellents that work by simply vibrating and emitting ultrasonic soundwaves that are disturbing to insects and bugs, thus repelling them.
Having established the fact that you need a mosquito repellent and that you can always find one that suits your particular needs, there are some features that you’ll need to have at the back of your mind before making your purchase. Things such as the active ingredient, type, duration, safety, formulas, and scent and not forgetting the price, are important information that you need to know. Keep reading, as we treat these features in subsequent sections.
Picking our top five products is usually tough whenever we have many top brands that meet our criteria. That was our experience while choosing the best mosquito repellent. If we had a top eight (instead of five), the following three brands would have made it: StingEze
, Burt's Bees
, and Cutter Repellents
. That’s our way of telling you that we think quite highly of these products and recommend that you take a look at them to increase your options if you don’t find what you were looking for with our featured reviews.
Mosquito repellents are typically inexpensive items and as such, there’s little sense in trying to cut cost when shopping for one. The most important factor to consider is the active ingredient present in the formulation and the size or amount of repellent. If you’re buying a family size, you should expect to pay slightly more than if you’re buying a pocket-sized repellent for personal use.
Mosquito repellents cost between $3.00 and up to $7.00; of course, this is a general range and you can get some that cost a little above what is posited here. The mosquito repellents we featured are produced by well-known brands and are trusted to do what they’re made to do: effectively repel mosquitos. We chose products that fall within the price range mentioned above, so you can choose one that suits your budget.
There’s no need going for some of those cheap mosquito repellents that are likely to irritate your skin or even fail to repel an ant, not to talk of a mosquito. You’d do well to stick with the affordable and top-performing products we’ve lined up for you after thorough investigation.
A great mosquito repellent is one that will protect you from mosquito bites without harming your skin. Getting the product with the right characteristics is a function of some features which we outline below:
- Type of mosquito repellent
- Active ingredient
- Formulation and scent
Construction and Design
The two things that you need to watch for when choosing your ideal mosquito repellent are what type it is, and what its active ingredients are. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Type of Mosquito Repellent
The type of mosquito repellent refers to the form in which the repellent is presented, and they can be in the form of aerosols, lotions, wipes, bracelets, and ultrasonic devices.
- Aerosol repellents are easier to use and apply, and are more common in repellents designed for use on articles of clothing. Care should be taken not to spray directly on the face to avoid accidental eye contact, or spraying in confined spaces.
- Lotions are also easy to use; all you need to do is apply to exposed parts of the body using your hands—but sometimes, they may leave your palms feeling greasy.
- Bracelet-type repellents provide the least protection because they have limited area of activity, which is the arm on which it’s worn. On the other hand, they’re fashionable and you don’t have to go about smelling like you’re wearing a repellent.
- Ultrasonic devices have an entirely different modus operandi, as they work by producing ultrasonic soundwaves that mosquitos and bugs find quite disturbing. They don’t emit smells and are the best option for people with allergies, although they’re also limited in terms of protection area.
The active ingredient in a mosquito repellent can either be synthetic or natural. It’s on record that synthetic repellents are way more effective than natural ingredient-based repellents but, as with anything chemical, there may be some adverse effects to the health of the user. The most common and active synthetic ingredients used in mosquito repellents are DEET and Picaridin, and sometimes IR3535.
- DEET is exceptionally active as a repellent but it has a strong odor which may be repulsive to some individuals, especially in concentrations above 30%.
- Picaridin, on the other hand, is odorless and milder than DEET, and as such is preferred for use on children. Both DEET- and Picaridin-based repellents are safe to apply on the skin and clothing (following the directions on the label, of course).
- IR3535 is not recommended for use on the skin, but rather can be used on clothing; it’s also active but quite irritating on the skin.
The few natural ingredients that are really active as repellents are on the mild side. The only recognized natural active ingredient for mosquito repellents is oil of lemon eucalyptus. Others are citronella and geranium oil which are not quite as effective as other repellents.
Performance and Ease of Use
The things you should look for in terms of performance and ease of use include: the duration, the formulation and scent, and the safety of the repellant.
If you plan to stay out all day, or you’re living in a mosquito-infested region, you’d be better off purchasing a repellent with long-lasting effects. The concentration of the active ingredient is key to the duration of the repellent’s effectiveness and to that end, products with 30% oil of eucalyptus lemon, 20% Picaridin, or 15-30% DEET are recommended for all-day lasting effects.
Formulation and Scent
If you’re averse to strong smells, then most mosquito repellents can’t work for you because of their inherent strong and often awful smells. In such cases, products having Picaridin as the active ingredient are recommended because it’s basically odorless. High concentrations of active ingredients in the formula such as DEET and oil of eucalyptus lemon give powerful odors and leave the wearer feeling greasy and mostly uncomfortable. But this is a minor price to pay if you’re faced with lots of mosquitos and bugs.
Always ensure that the mosquito repellent you’re going for contains only approved compounds for your personal safety and that of your belongings and loved ones. Mosquito repellents with synthetic active ingredients are known to eat through some synthetic materials and plastics, so you need to go through the instructions carefully so you know when to avoid contact between repellent and whatever you’re carrying or wearing.
Using a mosquito repellent isn’t rocket science; it can be as simple as wiping the skin with a repellent wipe or applying the repellent lotion or spray to your skin. You just need to be careful to avoid direct contact with the eyes and ensure that all exposed parts of the skin and clothing are covered.
Ensure that whatever repellent you’re buying is suitable for every member of the family, including children. Applying copious amounts of mosquito repellent on your person will not give you additional protection; use the repellent sparingly and as directed, to avoid damage to your skin.
No one knows your skin type better than you, so, having gone through our informative buying guide, we’re quite sure that you’re adequately armed with relevant information that will help you select a mosquito repellent that’s not only effective, but goes well with your skin. Keep an open mind and eyes as you go through the products we’ve lined up for you in our individual product review section; you’ll surely find something that catches your fancy.
When it comes to women, beauty, and cosmetics, no other brand does it better than Avon. It’s the number-one cosmetic brand in North America, having sales reps all over the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Its products are designed for the classic woman and include several award-winning fragrances, skincare, personal care, and color cosmetics under renowned brand names including Skin So Soft, ANEW, and Avon Color. With 130 years of hands-on experience, it has continued to lead the pack in women-empowering opportunities, and is the proud sponsor of the Avon Foundation for Women, so as to contribute towards the fight against domestic violence and breast cancer.
Have a great time moisturizing and protecting your skin with this amazing, triple-action Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 SPF 30 Lotion. This mosquito-repelling lotion contains a skin-friendly, insect-repelling compound known as IR3535 that is far more agreeable on the skin than either DEET or Picaridin, but just as effective when it comes to repelling insects and bugs. It also contains moisturizers such as aloe and vitamin E to help soften your skin and keep it hydrated and supple all day long.
That’s not all, as this product functions as a sunscreen, with its effective SPF 30 sunblock compound. This means that instead of applying different lotions and creams for different purposes, you get to put on just one multipurpose lotion and get going. Really, you can’t beat the convenience or the cost-saving factor.
This mosquito repellent has the capacity to protect your skin from mosquitos, chiggers, gnats, biting midges, no-see-ums, black and sand flies, and a host of other biting insects and bugs. It does this without leaving your skin feeling greasy or uncomfortable, due to its DEET- and PABA-free nature.
It’s dermatologist-tested, proven and certified safe for use on children and people of all skin types, especially as it’s hypoallergenic, non-acne-genic, and non-comedogenic. It’s fast-absorbing and leaves your skin smelling like a gentle breeze and feeling great as long as the effect lasts. Also, it comes in a 4-ounce bottle guaranteed to last for a long time, even if used frequently.
3M is a multi-concept brand that explores the world of science to leverage on it and make life simpler for people. For more than 100 years, it has evolved, bringing new meaning and innovations into being through science. It strives to impact lives by provision of easy-to-use products geared towards problem-solving in all aspects of life and at prices that won’t break the bank. Its products are manufactured under strict quality control measures to ensure top-notch performance and reliability, a mark that sets its products apart from others in the same category. With its products, customers are set to discover and enjoy all the numerous wonders of science applied to daily living, and hence experience a vast improvement in the quality of life led.
The 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion provides exceptional protection from a wide spectrum of biting insects including disease-carrying mosquitos, gnats, deer flies, chiggers, ticks, and fleas. Its 34.34% DEET content ensures that no biting insect gets close to you while you’re outdoors to spoil your fun or make you pack up earlier than you wanted to.
What’s more, you get to enjoy a grease-free, long-lasting protection of up to 12 hours from just one application of this repellent, all thanks to its unique, advanced, and patented time-based Control Release Technology. This technology employs the use of polymer to hold in DEET and then slowly release it onto the skin surface in measured amounts for up to 12 hours, thus providing a long-lasting and even protection for the entire family.
This simply means that you don’t have to keep reapplying the repellent lotion on your skin every now and then, unless you’ve had a bath or are still outdoors after 12 hours of first application. Put another way, you get to save money on replenishing your repellent lotion.
Another high point is that it comes in a size that’s extremely portable and doesn’t take up much space in your luggage; in fact, you can toss it inside your toiletry bag or purse and be on your way. Its pocket-sized tube is certified by the TSA for luggage carry-on.
And if you’re not the outdoorsy type but still require the repellent for that occasional outing, you need not worry yourself about the product having reduced efficacy. It’s quite stable and has a shelf-life of 5 years, during which the efficacy remains as strong as on the day of its manufacture.
Established in 1984, Sawyer is dedicated to providing the best, technologically-advanced, all-around solutions and protection for life outdoors. Its major concern in the industry is eliminating infections and diseases caused by mosquitos and bad water and, to this end, it has pioneered the development of some technologies used globally and targeted these two major concerns.
Its permethrin insect repellent system is now widely used for mosquito nets in Africa, after being used successfully to treat US soldiers’ and outdoor-lovers’ clothing. It was the brain behind the acclaimed point-of-use water filtration system modeled after the advanced kidney dialysis filtration technology. Its products are unique, cost-efficient, and designed specifically for your protection and enjoyment, especially if you’re the outdoor type.
Get your entire family safely protected with the Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent in preparation for a great time outdoors. This repellent is especially effective against the yellow fever- and Zika virus-transmitting mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, gnats, sand flies, and other biting insects that are intent on spoiling your time outdoors.
It offers a long-lasting protection of up to 12 hours in an easy-to-apply spray formula that gives even coverage on the exposed parts of the body.
And if you’re averse to strong odors usually associated with mosquito repellents, this Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent has little or no repugnant smell that can discourage or discomfort you or those around you. It rather has a low-key, pleasant citrus scent that is so unlike normal repellents. Spray this repellent on your person and be totally protected without smelling it.
Unlike other repellents, this product contains Picaridin, a perfect blend of safety, efficacy, and user/material-friendliness which means that along with unequalled protection, it’s totally grease-free and doesn’t damage synthetic finishing or plastics. This means that it’s tough on insects and bugs, but gentle on your skin and gear.
You can check out its listing in the Consumer Reports of the Fisherman’s Formula to ascertain its safety and efficacy.
And finally, be sure to check out the multiple buying options for this product so you can get the style and size that work best for you.
Thank you for reading; we hope you’ll be placing an order for that mosquito repellent you’ve chosen right away! Of course, you can check out other repellents by these brands if the ones featured aren’t to your taste; you will surely find one that suits you, eventually.