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Best Mosquito Repellent Sprays - The World's Strongest Insect Repellents

Updated on December 9, 2012

The mosquito repellent sprays containing DEET in various percentages are the widest used in the world today, and also the most effective. First used by US troops just after the Second World War, it became licensed for use by the general public in 1957 and continues to lead the world in terms of widespread use and effectiveness. It remains today one of the best mosquito repellent sprays on the market.

DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) has been proven over and over again to be effective against a wide range of biting insects. The importance of using a mosquito repellent spray cannot be overstated. Apart from causing vicious bites that lead to inflamed and itchy skin, many mosquitoes and other flying insects spread disease, including dengue fever, malaria and Lyme disease, the prevalence being greater in some parts the world than others.


Some doubt has been cast in the safety of using DEET based insect sprays, but studies have showed 4 deaths out of an estimated 400 million users, so I think we can safely say that DEET-based insect sprays are safe to use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend products containing 10% to 30% of DEET as perfectly safe for use by all adults and babies over 2 months old, however, a 10% solution of DEET should be suitable for most small children and babies. Babies under 2 months old should have netting protection placed over their cot/pram.

Some products contain higher concentrations of DEETand it has been found the higher the concentration, the longer the effectiveness of the product to repel mosquitoes.

How DEET based insect spray works

DEET works by effectively hiding you from the insect. This is why it is so important to make sure every inch of exposed skin is covered.

They are unaware you are there because DEET has blocked your smell from them. Studies have also shown that insects intensely dislike the strong chemical smell of DEET which is an added bonus.

Bug repellent sprayscontaining DEET should not be sprayed on skin that is covered under clothing, as the DEET itself can damage fabrics. It is also inadvisable to use a DEET spray on broken skin.

As someone who suffers badly from the bite of the mosquito, I have personally found DEET based sprays to be highly effective in preventing bites, from not only the mosquito, but many other other biting insects including, horse-flies, sandflies, ticks, centipedes and spiders.

Icaridine (Picaridin)

I have also used picaridine-based sprays and found them to also be highly effective in insect bite prevention. It well deserves its label as one of the best mosquito repellent sprays available.

International studies on this chemical have shown the effectiveness of picaridine-based insect repellents to be comparable to DEET, but with less irritation.

Picaridine does not damage fabrics, leathers and plastic the way DEET does.

Chek the label for the concentration of icaridin in the solution - the higher, the better protection offered. Autan Protection Plus has 16% which I find sufficient to not get bitten.

It is also reckoned to be less irritant than DEET-based sprays, and does not emit an odor.

Ultrathon Insect Repellent

Ultrathon is the name given to the chemical solution offered to US troops when on jungle duty as an insect repellent.

It is also offered to British troops under similar conditions.

Containing 33% DEET, it has proven effectiveness for up to 12 hours.

  • Is waterproof - is not lost through perspiration, rain or water splashes
  • is effective against a wide range of biting insects, including gnats, leeches, ticks, biting flies and fleas

When used in conjunction with permethrin-treated clothing, Ultrathon offers complete insectidal protection.


Permethrin is the basic chemical used in insect repellent clothing.

Whilst it is possible to buy clothing already impregnated with permethrin, it is cheaper to buy permethrin spray and spray it on to your own clothing direct.

Left unwashed, it will continue to act for approximately 2 weeks.

It kills small insects that come into contact with it, including ticks and fleas.

Clothing treated with permethrin should be stored inside a plastic bag.

Permethrin is widely used in horticulture and agriculture, as a general insecticide, and in used in the population control of whitefly, greenfly and other aphids. It can treat everything from woodworm to head-lice.

It is indiscriminate in what it affects and can also kill honey bees and other beneficial insects.

It is also used widely in dog collars, but is considered harmful to cats.

Mosquito nets can also be soaked in permethrin to increase their usefullness in ridding a bedroom of mosquitoes.


IR3535 or Merck IR3535 as it is also known, is another compound recommended by the EPA for use as an insecticide.

It is effective against biting flies, ticks and mosquitoes.

However, studies have shown it to have a much shorter effectivity than either DEET or Picaridin, offering only half an hour protection in some cases.

Avon's Skin so Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 contains this chemical.


Mosquito Insect repellents

Mosquitoes and other biting insects are a bane on modern society.

Many blood-borne diseases are actively and easily spread through communities via the bite of mosquitoes, who do not use any sterile needle-cleansing system to ensure the cleanliness of their bites.

Get protected today.

Don't leave home without your exposed skin covered in a mosquito repellent spray if you live in an area affected by mosquitoes.

Any one of the best mosquito repellent sprays shown above, will help protect you against insect bites.


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    • MarilynMorrison profile image


      10 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I am glad to visit this pages.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      That's interesting Paco. What countries is that available in?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      in my opinion the best devices and formulas are from Healthfulair.

      Unfortunaly those products are not available in US or europe because Healthfulair sale first according WHO dengue/Malaria maps for the most in needs their production is full sale till march 2012.

    • profile image

      Baby insect repellent 

      10 years ago

      Well these repellent needs some times. Because mosquito are varies from place to place. In some places mosquito is stronger than other one. So, better and stronger is good some times.


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