Selecting the right mosquito repellent


Mosquito encounters in the wild can range from mildly annoying to potentially dangerous due to the risk of disease transmission. The selection and use of mosquito repellents have thus become crucial. This article simplifies the process by focusing on repellents specifically designed for mosquitoes, the increasing prevalence of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes underscores the importance of understanding and wisely choosing insect repellents.

Mosquito Zoom


Skin-applied repellents

These repellents are highly effective but require careful and repeated application. They include chemicals such as DEET and picaridin, as well as natural or synthetic plant oils.

Clothing-applied repellents

These repellents offer protection against a wide range of mosquitoes and are ready to use as soon as the clothing is worn. However, they only offer limited protection for exposed skin.

Airborne repellents

These repellents require no application and keep mosquitoes at a distance. However, they are ineffective in windy conditions or when the user is moving.

Mosquito Spray


Different repellents work on different mosquito species. Chemical repellents like DEET and picaridin offer long-lasting and wide-ranging protection, repelling a variety of mosquito species. Synthesized plant oils, like lemon eucalyptus oil and IR3535, don’t protect quite as long and are effective against certain mosquito species.

According to recent research, the Thermacell E90 rechargeable mosquito repellent stands out as being particularly effective against mosquitoes. Other notable mentions include the Off! active insect repellent and Ben’s 100 insect repellent pump.

Species-specific studies suggest that Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes were repelled by lemongrass oil and PMD, while Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were repelled by lemongrass oil, PMD, eugenol, and DEET. Furthermore, high concentrations of 1-octen-3-ol and benzaldehyde were repellent, and activated more olfactory receptor neurons on the An. coluzzii antennae than lower concentrations.


The choice of insect repellent depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user. While chemical-based repellents offer more comprehensive protection, plant-based repellents may appeal to those who prefer more natural formulations. Regardless of the choice, it is important to follow use directions carefully, especially when kids or pets are involved.