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What is Mosquito Repellent and is it really effective?

July 25, 2021

Long Island NY


Mosquitoes are pesky insects that thrive in hot weather. High temperatures speed up their life cycle, meaning an increase in egg-laying and hatching. With mosquito season reaching its peak during summer months, they can really put a damper on your outdoor plans.

In order to take on mosquito season, many people take preventative measures. There are a lot of mosquito repellents out on the market, and many people opt for mosquito spray. But exactly how effective is mosquito spray?

What is a Mosquito Repellent?

Mosquito repellents are substances that are designed to keep mosquitoes away. There are many products such as creams, sticks, candles, and sprays available. The products contain ingredients that can help deter the insects from biting you.

Mosquito repellents can protect you from the bothersome insects. However, it is not as simple as grabbing any repellent you see off the shelf. Each product’s percentage of active ingredients may vary.

How Effective is Mosquito Spray?

Not all mosquito repellents are made the same. For example, products like wearable bracelets and clip-on and candles are not as effective as sprays. Wearable’s may not emit a high enough concentration of repellent to be effective. The effectiveness of candles are determined by the presence or absence of wind.

All products are different, but spray-on repellents have shown that they are the most effective and longest-lasting through several studies. However, even a spray-on repellent will have varying levels of protection.

There are many different active ingredients. Each ingredient’s level of protection can range from two to ten hours. Their effectiveness will depend on the percentage of active ingredients. The higher the percentage, the longer you can expect the product to work.

Common Active Ingredients

DEET: This is the most common insect repellent. The chemical was made in the 1940s and does not kill mosquitoes but will prevent them from landing on you.

It is recommended if you plan to spend a lot of time outside in an area that has a high concentration of mosquitoes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends this ingredient for long-lasting, effective protection.

Picaridin: This ingredient is also recommended by the CDC. It can offer the same long-lasting, effective protection. The difference is the ingredient will feel lighter and cleaner.

The ingredient is a synthetic compound that will repel and deter insects. That means it can help prevent mosquitoes from landing on you. It can also keep them from feeding if they come in contact with you.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE): This ingredient is derived from Eucalyptus

Citriodora tree leaves. The plant-based repellent can be used to provide protection from mosquitoes for up to six hours.

Based on studies done in the 2015 and 2017 in the Journal of Insect Science, OLE was the only DEET-free ingredient that produced effective, long-lasting results as a mosquito repellent.


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