Skip to main content

About Repellents

Stop mosquito, flea, and tick bites

Your Days as a Mosquito Buffet are Over

Prepare to hit the outdoors-- without being a mosquito's favorite snack.

While the repellent options seem endless, not every repellent is CDC-recommended. Look for ONE of the following active ingredients on the label that is safe and effective against biting insects and the diseases they can transmit!

Download: Ingredients to Repel Mosquito Bites (PDF)

 

Always read your repellent's directions before applying. Please consult with a pediatrician before applying any products on young children.

Repel mosquito bites

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus

Protection time

Also known as Para-menthane-diol (PMD)

For children: Over 3 years

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (or PMD) is a natural, plant-based repellent derived from the oil of the leaves of the Eucalyptus citidora tree. Repellents containing the oil of lemon eucalyptus provide similar protection to those with low concentrations of DEET. These products tend to have a strong botanical smell and are available in a wide variety of formulations, including pump sprays and lotions.

DEET

Protection time

For children: Over 2 Months

DEET–based repellents are the most effective and best-studied repellents available. In fact, they've provided effective and dependable protection since the 1950s. Available in different concentrations (which all repel insects equally well for the length of time they are needed), DEET repellents come in a variety of forms, including aerosol and pump sprays, as well as wipes. 

Not a fan of DEET? Don’t worry you have options!

Picaridin

Protection time

Also known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US

For children: Over 2 Months

Picaridin is a synthetic repellent that mimics piperine, a natural compound found in black pepper plants. It was developed in the 1990s and has been commercially available in the United States since 2005. Picaridin is colorless, nearly odorless, and is available in multiple formulations. It provides long-lasting, effective protection similar to that of products containing identical concentrations of DEET.

IR3535

Protection time

 

Also known as Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate (EBAAP) and Merck 3535

For children: Over 6 Months

IR3535, is registered with the EPA as a biopesticide, meaning it functions as a naturally occurring amino acid. This synthetic repellent has been used in Europe for over 20 years and was approved for use in the United States in 1999. It's currently available in an aerosol, pump spray, and wipe forms. The EPA recognizes the use of IR3535 as safe for adults and children, with caution that it is an eye irritant.

 

 Mosquito Repellent FAQ's

What goes first sunscreen or repellent? 

Apply sunscreen first followed by repellent.

Step 1: Apply sunscreen on exposed skin that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.l.

Step 2: Once dry, apply insect repellent over the sunscreen. It should be applied according to the bottle's instructions.

More info from the California Department of Public Health.

Does the brand of the repellent matter? 

No. Your repellent is effective as long as it has ONE of the following active ingredients: Oil of lemon eucalyptus, DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535 on the label.

Is one active ingredient better than the other? 

No. All four active ingredients provide safe and effective protection against mosquitoes when following the product's label. However, each person's preferences may prefer one ingredient over another.

 
More info found on the CDC website or the EPA website.