ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

4 Most Common Mosquito Repellents

Updated on September 10, 2015

To get the most out of outdoor activities at the park or nature reserves, it is important to protect yourself from inserts, especially mosquitoes. Most insects bites, including mosquito bites, can cause skin eruption, rashes and itching which can be uncomfortable and induce scratching. Mosquito bites also come with the risk of infections, such as dengue fever, which is transmitted by the species Aedes aegypti. Hence, it is important to apply mosquito repellents on exposed skin surface or clothing prior to outdoor activities.

It has been found that mosquitoes and other blood-feeding insects are attracted to the carbon dioxide from our breath, and certain skin odours. Although the exact effects mosquito repellents have on the winged insects are not fully understood, it is thought that some of the chemicals used in mosquito repellents may confuse the senses of the mosquitoes by blocking their ability to detect skin odours.

What’s in mosquito repellents?

Here are the chemicals that are commonly used in mosquito repellents:

DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide)

DEET is very effective against certain insects, including mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Locally, DEET is available in spray or lotion form with concentrations ranging from 7% to 25%. Products with DEET concentration of no more than 10% are considered safe to use on young children and infants form two months of age. The effectiveness of DEET preparation does not increase with concentration. However, higher concentrations do confer a longer duration of protection.

Picaridin (Hydroyethyl isobutyl piperidine carboxylate)

Picaridin is also known as icaridin. The advantage of using picaridin over DEET is that this chemical does not damage plastic or man-made fabrics. Likewise, pocaridin is also an effective repellent option and has also been formulated into spray. This is also safe for use in infants from two months of age.

Citronella Oil

Citronella oil is a plant based ingredient which is useful for its insect repellent ability. However, citronella is effective only for shorter duration and hence, frequent reapplications are required.

Citronella oil repellents are available in spray and extended-release patches for use on clothing.

Ethyl Butylacetylaminopropionate

Also known as IR3535, this compound is derived from the naturally occurring amino acid beta-alanine, which is a building block for proteins. Mosquito repellents containing IR3535 are formulated in spray form in concentrations from 10% to 30%. IR3535 preparations are usually safe to be used on children over the age of two years.

How do I use mosquito repellents?

Insect spray are simple to use and can be carried along for regular use whilst outdoors. For most repellent sprays, hold the bottle about 15-20cm away from your skin or clothing and sprays in a slow sweeping manner. Repellent sprays should not be applied over cuts, wounds or irritated skin. To avoid getting the contents into the eyes. Mosquito repellent should not spray directly onto the face. Instead, you can spray the repellent onto your palms and rub it on carefully onto your face. Leave out the areas surrounding the eyes and mouth.

Insect repellent patches are also convenient and generally safe to be used on young children and infants. These patches typically contain citronella oil and can last from eight hours to a few days. It is important to apply these patches on fabric as adhesion on the skin may cause skin irritation.

What are the common side effects?

Skin reactions such as rashes and itchiness may occur with the use of repellent sprays or lotions. These are usually mild, temporary and tend to subside with the discontinuation of the repellent. Eye irritation may occur when contact has been made with the vapour. Immediate washing of the eyes under a running tap and referral to a doctor is advised.

Other Tips to prevent mosquito bites

Mosquito repellent is an effective option to prevent mosquito bites which can bring about diseases. You can also limit your time spent outdoors, especially during dusk or dawn, as most mosquitoes are active during this period. If you cannot avoid going outdoors, consider wearing long-sleeved clothing to minimize exposed skin. Avoid wearing dark or bright-coloured clothing which may attract mosquitoes. Mosquito Trap can also use to reduce the mosquito around garden and house.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)