Mosquito remedy: How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Now that you know how to get rid of mosquitoes in your home, here are a few ways to keep these pests out of your yard. The most effective methods to get rid of mosquitoes outdoors include these:
- Attracting natural predators
- Burning candles
- Cedar mulch
- Eliminating standing water
- Manicuring your lawn
- Mosquito traps
- Outdoor chemical repellents
- Planting natural deterrents
- Thermacell Patio Shield
- Treating pools and ponds
- Yellow LED lighting
Apply Chemical Repellents
Applying a chemical insect repellent designed for the outdoors is a solid way to get rid of mosquitoes. The best mosquito repellents will protect the perimeters of lawns, backyards, and gardens for up to 8 weeks. You can also spray a traditional, safe repellent on your skin.
Set a Mosquito Trap
Mosquito traps are a handy way to control your mosquito population. These traps work by mimicking the visual and smell stimuli that attract mosquitoes to humans.
There are many varieties of mosquito traps out there. Some work by trapping mosquitoes to a sticky surface, while others electrocute them with an electric grid. The Mosquito Magnet is one of the most popular traps—it works by vacuuming mosquitoes up.
For this method, place your traps in a shady area. You may have to move them around to find the optimal placement for ensnaring mosquitoes. It’s worth noting that different species of mosquitoes react differently to traps, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all remedy.
You can also use a propane mosquito trap, which functions much like an electric zapper without the limitations of a power cord—a great solution for backcountry and off-the-grid excursions.
Eliminate Standing Water
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and that’s where their larvae hatch. Empty all stagnant bodies of water you can, like any water that’s pooled in buckets, gutters, ditches, and pet bowls. Make sure to refresh the water in any birdbaths and check to see if your potted plants have enough drainage.
Treat Pools and Ponds
For standing water that you can’t eliminate, apply a larvicide dunk or liquid larvicide and run the filter regularly. To prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in your pool, be sure to cover the pool at night and during the months when you aren’t using it.
Citronella candles are a long-time fan favorite for repelling mosquitoes. You can buy sizable ones to place around your yard and ensure mosquitoes will keep their distance.
Set Out a Thermacell Zapper
Thermacell devices are spray-free, emitting a no-mess repellent in a compact container. Completely scent-free, these containers are easy to refill and provide up to 15 feet of protection.
Keep a Manicured Lawn
Mosquitoes like to rest and settle in areas that are cool, damp, and dark. Manicure your lawn, trim trees and shrubs, and make sure your grass isn’t too tall. This will make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes.
Plant Natural Deterrents
Repelling mosquitoes doesn’t have to be just practical—it can be pretty, too. Planting natural deterrents can spruce up your garden while keeping these prevalent pests away. Consider planting the following flora to keep mosquitoes away:
- Lemon balm
Put Down Cedar Mulch
Cedar oil is a common mosquito repellent ingredient, and you can easily find cedar mulch for your lawn or garden. Cedar mulch soaks up excess moisture, keeping it in the soil and deterring mosquitoes from settling in your vegetation.
Attract Natural Predators
Predators can’t completely eradicate your issue if you’re overrun with mosquitoes, but if you’re just getting a few unwanted critters here and there, attracting them is worth a shot.
Many birds are natural mosquito predators, including purple martins, waterfowl, swallows, and migratory songbirds. Setting up bird feeders is a solid step in attracting these birds. Installing a bat house can also help. Bats eat up mosquitoes, but you may not want to attract bats near your home.
If you have a pond, you can benefit from predators like goldfish, koi, and red-eared slider turtles.
Use Yellow LED lighting
Mosquitoes are attracted to the light from traditional light bulbs. Warm, yellow LED lights are less appealing to them, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
10 Natural Mosquito Repellents: What Works
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Homemade mosquito repellents may help deter insects. Some natural ingredients may cause irritation if you have sensitive skin.
People are usually prone to mosquito bites due to a combination of scent, light, heat, and humidity. If you’re a mosquito magnet, you’re probably tired of having itchy, bumpy skin.
Different species of mosquitoes — like the ones that carry malaria — prefer bacteria and sweat. Others are attracted to carbon dioxide and certain hand odors.
Whichever species you encounter, you can protect yourself without having to use a DEET-based chemical repellent. DEET products have the potential to cause health and environmental problems.
You might choose to avoid using DEET products unless you’re visiting places that have a high risk of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika. DEET is recommended for people at risk of mosquito bites carrying any disease.
If you’re doing things like taking a hike, hanging out in your backyard, or taking a camping trip, natural repellents might be a better option. This can be especially true for children, who are more sensitive.
Read on to see which natural repellents work best to prevent mosquito bites.
Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.
A 2014 study showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for 3 hours.
You can create your own mixture with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. Researchers from the University of Florida caution against using the mixture on children under 3 years of age.
Crushed lavender flowers produce a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes.
An animal study from 2002 on hairless mice found lavender oil to be effective at repelling adult mosquitoes.
Lavender has analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities. This means that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin.
You can grow lavender in an outdoor garden or in indoor planters. Crush the flowers and apply the oil to bite-sensitive areas of the body, such as your ankles and arms. Also, drop some lavender oil on a clean cloth and rub it onto the skin.
Cinnamon is more than just a great topper to applesauce or oatmeal. According to a study in Taiwan, cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes, most notably the Asian tiger mosquito.
To make a diluted 1 percent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water. You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery or plants. Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.
When it comes to repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil is one of the best at providing protection. In one animal study from 2002, 5 percent thyme oil applied to the skin of hairless mice provided a 91 percent protection rate.
You may also want to throw thyme leaves into a campfire. Research shows that burning thyme leaves offers 85 percent protection for 60 to 90 minutes.
For a homemade brew, combine 4 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil, such as olive or jojoba oil. For a spray, mix 5 drops of thyme oil with 2 ounces of water.
Nepeta parnassica, a member of the mint family related to catnip, can ward off mosquitoes. The white and pink flowers grow up to 18 inches, but it’s the extract and oil from the bruised leaves that’s the most valuable.
One study found that oil from the plant could repel mosquitoes effectively for 2 to 3 hours. Researchers at Iowa State University also found catnip to be 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.
According to the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, soybean-based products like Bite Block Kids (2 percent soybean oil) could provide long lasting protection from mosquitoes.
In addition to soybean oil, you can also add a little lemongrass oil to your home mixture. The combination has been tested to guard against different species of mosquitoes.
Citronella is a common natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes. Made from a mix of herbs, it’s an ingredient in many mosquito repellents. When outdoors, citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection.
Research from 2011 says that the formulation of citronella is important to how effective it is. When the product is formulated correctly, it’s as effective as DEET and can protect you for up to 2 hours. If the formula isn’t right, citronella can evaporate quickly and leave you unprotected.
Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a popular essential oil from Australia. This oil is known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. But studies also suggest that tea tree oil may be an effective insect repellent.
Field testing shows that repellents containing tea tree oil are effective against mosquitoes, bush flies, and biting midges.
Geraniol is a type of alcohol used as a fragrance or flavor. It’s from plant oils like citronella, lemongrass, and rose. As an ingredient in mosquito repellent, it’s known to be effective for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the species.
Keep this oil away from your eyes, and try to avoid using it if you have sensitive skin. Geraniol may cause eye and skin irritation.
Although neem oil is advertised as a natural alternative, there are mixed results about its effectiveness. A 2015 study about the effectiveness of neem oil in Ethiopia found that it offered more than 70 percent protection for 3 hours.
Neem oil is not approved as a topical repellent because it can cause skin irritation. It’s still best to use DEET when traveling to a country that’s high risk for mosquito-borne diseases.
To repel mosquitoes with neem oil, dilute 50 to 100 milliliters of neem oil in water, oil, or lotion. It’s also important to choose extra virgin, cold-pressed neem oil.
Essential oils should never be put on the skin directly. They are always diluted in a carrier oil, such as almond oil. The recipe is usually 3 to 5 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Essential oils aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s possible to buy a faulty product, so always buy from a reputable source.
If you are going to be traveling in an area where mosquitoes are known to carry diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, or the Zika virus, doctors advise using a chemical mosquito repellent to reduce the odds of contracting a dangerous illness.
It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the active ingredients in essential oils. Before you use any new product, spot test the product on a small section of your skin and wait an hour or two to make sure that hives or burning sensations do not occur.
DEET stands for a chemical named N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It’s the active ingredient in various repellents, such as liquids, lotions, and sprays, that you’ll find on store shelves.
Products containing DEET are used to repel mosquitoes and other biting pests, like ticks, by preventing the bugs from being able to sense human scent.
DEET has been sold commercially since 1957 but was used by the United States Army as early as 1946. Currently, over 120 products that contain this ingredient are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA shares that DEET does not pose risks to health when used properly. In rare cases, though, there are some issues you may encounter when using it, including:
- irritation, pain, or watery eyes if applied to eyes
- irritation, swelling, or redness/rash if left on the skin for long periods of time
- vomiting, nausea, or other stomach issues if consumed
- seizures, in very rare cases
Safely using DEET means:
- not applying it to skin under clothing or on irritated skin
- not applying it to the hands or other places where it might be ingested
- not using too much product
- washing it from the skin or clothing when you return indoors
Young children should not apply DEET products on their own or have it applied in or around the eyes or mouth.
Even with mosquito repellent, you may get itchy, painful mosquito bites.
To treat mosquito bites at home, you can try rubbing apple cider vinegar at the site of the bite. Putting a slice of raw onion or freshly cut garlic on the bite can also provide relief and guard against infection. Over-the-counter anti-itch or antihistamine creams, like calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream, can help as well.
If you do develop an infection or allergic reaction due to a significant amount of mosquito bites, take note of your symptoms and contact your doctor. Signs of a problem may include:
- an elevated temperature
- pus or bleeding where the bite is
- scabs that won’t go away
So, how exactly do you use various repellents to keep yourself bite-free? It’s important to familiarize yourself with the proper ways to apply products to your skin and clothing for maximum results.
How often should you reapply a repellent?
It depends. The EPA recommends that you carefully read the labels on any repellents you use and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on both how much to use and how often to apply products. Also, take into account things like:
- exposure to water (swimming, for example)
- exercise (if you’re sweating)
- the outdoor temperature
Applying and reapplying by the package directions will help make sure you get the most effective protection.
What clothing helps protect against bites?
Mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothing, like tights or yoga pants. To protect yourself, the CDC suggests choosing loose-fitting clothes that cover both the arms and legs for the most protection.
You can also treat the clothes you wear with permethrin or buy clothing that has already been treated with permethrin.
Unlike DEET, permethrin is not intended for use on the skin, so be sure to follow all package instructions and treat only clothing, boots, socks, hats, and other wearable items.
What can reduce the risk of mosquito bites?
Beyond wearing repellent, reapplying it when necessary, and choosing the right clothing, there are other things you can do to lower your risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes:
- Hang out in screened areas versus open air. If screens have any holes or tears, repair them to eliminate leaks.
- Switch on the air conditioning instead of opening windows to stay cool, if it’s an option.
- Clean up any standing water in and around your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so empty, scrub, or toss things like buckets, baby pools, pots, garbage cans, and bird baths.
Avoid being outdoors during peak mosquito times, between dusk and dawn.
There is significant research suggesting that natural ingredients are an effective way to repel mosquitoes. This is good news for people looking to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals, especially young children and pregnant people.
Experimenting with different ingredients to create a blended, all-natural mosquito repellent that’s unique to you can be a fun way to stay safe from mosquito bites.
top-10 rating according to KP
Remember, like Pushkin: “Oh, red summer! I would love you if it were not for the heat, and dust, and mosquitoes, and flies. This phrase is especially close to summer residents who have to take care of plantings. It’s good at noon, there are no mosquitoes – in the heat they hide in the grass. But it’s hard to work in the heat, and besides, it’s unsafe: you can easily get a heat stroke, or even worse – a heart attack or stroke. The ideal time for the works of the righteous is morning or evening, which is called “in the cold.” But even here the problem is hordes of mosquitoes!
It is easy to get rid of them at home – fumigators help a lot. But on the street, the only way to avoid annoying insects is special mosquito repellents. They come in different types:
Most repellents are based on diethyltoluamide (DEET). This is the most toxic substance of all the others, but the most effective. It is included in the composition of funds in different concentrations – from 11 to 51% 1 . Everything else is various fragrances and excipients.
Aerosols are the most convenient to use. Most of them can be splashed on the body and clothing. Those with the most active ingredient provide protection longer.
List of top 10 according to KP
The rating is based on the opinion of the KP editors. You can send recommendations and additions to it by mail [email protected] or report by phone +7 (495) 637-65-16 (on weekdays from 9:00 to 18:00)
“Komaroff from mosquitoes, ticks and midges 3 in 1”
This triple action aerosol will help protect against bites not only of mosquitoes, but also of all blood-sucking insects – horseflies, midges, mosquitoes, midges, and also forest and taiga ticks. As indicated in the instructions, the product can be applied both to clothing and to open areas of the body. At the same time, the effect of the aerosol on the skin lasts up to 6 hours, and on the tissue up to 30 days (from midges and mosquitoes) and 5 days – from ticks. The product has a rather pungent smell, but it quickly disappears, leaving a light mint scent. Also, the aerosol is neutral on the skin, rarely causing any allergic reactions, and also does not leave stains on clothes.
|Active ingredient||DEET (40%), dimethyl phthalate (5%)|
|Who is affected by||mosquitoes, midges, mosquitoes, midges, horseflies, fleas, taiga and forest ticks|
|Protection time|| up to 6 hours on the skin, more than 30 days on clothes ; wide range of protection; neutral to the skin.|
Strong and unpleasant odor upon application.
OFF! Aqua Mosquito Spray
This water-based mosquito spray also contains 15% N,N-diethyltoluamide (DEET), as well as isopropyl alcohol and fragrance. Aqua spray will help protect against mosquito and mosquito bites, while not leaving a greasy or sticky feeling on the skin or stains on clothes. Convenient diffuser provides a fine mist without large droplets. The effect of the spray on the skin lasts about 3 hours.
In the instructions, the manufacturer recommends that you first shake the bottle well, then apply the product to the palm of your hand, spread it over its surface, and then gently spread it over the skin with light patting movements, avoiding contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. It is also recommended to refrain from use by pregnant and lactating women and persons with skin hypersensitivity to chemicals.
Pros and cons
does not leave a feeling of stickiness and greasy on the skin and clothes; fine spraying; low price in the segment.
is not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Mosquitall “Professional protection against all insects”
This spray belongs to the “heavy artillery” and contains DEET at a concentration of 50%, so it is recommended to apply the product only on clothing, avoiding contact with exposed skin and especially eyes and mucous membranes. The instructions also emphasize that the aerosol should not be applied indoors, but outdoors.
Mosquitall spray protects against all types of blood-sucking insects – mosquitoes, mosquitoes, midges, horseflies and midges, as well as fleas and ticks. Thanks to the volume of the bottle of 150 ml, it is convenient to take the product with you on hikes, fishing and hunting. As indicated in the instructions, the effect of the spray lasts up to 10 days (if stored in a closed bag) from mosquitoes, horseflies and other flying bloodsuckers and up to 15 days from ticks and fleas. Outdoors for up to 8 hours. It is not recommended to use the aerosol for children, pregnant and lactating women.
Pros and cons
cutting insects; long duration of action; does not leave marks on clothes.
can only be applied to clothing; strong odor upon application.
This aerosol also contains DEET, but at a concentration of 25%, so it can be applied to skin and clothing, as well as curtains and curtains, equipment. The tool helps protect against the bites of horseflies, mosquitoes, mosquitoes and midges, but will not be effective against ticks. The time of the protective action of the aerosol when applied to the skin lasts up to 3 hours, when applied to clothing – up to 15 days. The product is neutral on the skin, does not cause irritation, and also does not leave marks on clothes.
In the instructions, the manufacturer advises to spray the aerosol in the open air until the clothes are slightly damp, when applied to the skin – the product does not need to be rubbed. Before use, it is advisable to read the instructions, where possible contraindications are prescribed.
Pros and cons
does not cause irritation on the skin and marks on clothes; no strong odor upon application.
relatively short duration of action; does not protect against ticks.
Reftamid 3 in 1 Maximum
This repellent from a Russian manufacturer is available in the form of an aerosol and metal cans. The main active ingredient is DEET at a concentration of 28%. The main action of the aerosol is directed against taiga and forest ticks, and also protects against mosquitoes, horseflies, midges, midges and fleas. The product can be applied both to open areas of the skin and to clothes, shoes and equipment. As indicated in the instructions, the effect of the Reftamid aerosol lasts up to 4 hours on the skin, 5 days on clothes for ticks and 30 days for other blood-sucking insects.
The manufacturer also indicates that the aerosol should not be applied to open wounds, scratches and abrasions, as well as areas of skin with damage or irritation.
Pros and cons
broad spectrum; can be applied to both skin and clothes; long action.
rather strong odor upon application; some users note that it can leave marks on clothes.
DEET Aqua Ultra Protection Professional
As the name implies, this water-based spray contains the pesticide DEET at a concentration of 50% as an active ingredient, but, as indicated in the instructions, the product can be applied to bare skin, provided that it has no scratches, wounds or irritation. Due to such a high concentration, the effect when applied to the skin lasts up to 8 hours – this is the maximum protection time that repellents have. Also, fir essential oil is added to the composition – a natural component that has repellent properties against mosquitoes, horseflies, midges and ticks.
Due to the aerosol form, the product is conveniently and quickly distributed, and thanks to the water base and the absence of alcohol in the composition, it does not dry the skin.
Pros and cons
pronounced protection against blood-sucking insects; despite the high concentration of DEET can be used on the skin; long lasting effect.
not always available for sale; users note the rapid consumption of funds.
Siberina Anti Mosquito and Blackfly Body Cream “Citronella”
This repellent is available in the form of a cream and contains only natural essential oils of plants known for their repellent effect on mosquitoes and midges – citronella and cypress, fortified with camphor. Also, these components have an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effect, so they help prevent swelling and itching, if the bite still could not be avoided. In addition, the composition contains rice bran oil, which softens and moisturizes the skin. Its light creamy texture spreads and absorbs easily without leaving a greasy or sticky feeling on the skin.
Pros and cons
natural composition; can be used by children; Helps relieve swelling and itching from bites.
some users note a short-term effect.
Picnic Extreme All Flying Insects & Ticks
This spray contains 35% DEET and natural lemon eucalyptus oil to repel biting insects and condition the skin. In the instructions, the manufacturer indicates that the remedy helps protect against mosquitoes, ticks, mosquitoes, midges, midges, horseflies, wasps, gadflies, and also prevents such dangerous diseases as tick-borne encephalitis, malaria, tularemia and West Nile fever. Picnic Extreme spray can be applied to clothing, shoes and equipment, as well as to exposed skin, avoiding contact with eyes, mouth and nose. The protective action time is up to 12 hours. Due to fine spraying, the product is evenly distributed, leaving no streaks and stains.
Pros and cons
helps protect against many types of insects; is an additional prevention of many infections that are transmitted through insect bites.
no protection time when applied to clothing; users note a pungent odor.
Gardex Extreme Super
This aerosol repellent also contains DEET at a fairly high concentration of 50%, however, as indicated in the instructions, it can be applied to clothing and skin, avoiding mucous membranes, cuts, abrasions and epidermal irritation. It also contains a hydrocarbon propellant and fragrance. Due to the maximum content of DEET, the product retains its protective effect on the skin for up to 8 hours, and when applied to fabric – up to 30 days from flying bloodsuckers and 5 days from ticks. Aerosol Gardex Extreme Super helps protect against the bites of mosquitoes, midges, horseflies, midges and mosquitoes, as well as ticks. The repellent itself is easy to distribute, and a convenient lid with a lock prevents spontaneous spraying.
The manufacturer in the instructions indicates that the product does not need to be rubbed in when applied to the skin. After 4 hours, the aerosol can be reused, but not more than 2 times a day.
Pros and cons
protective effect on skin lasts up to 8 hours and 30 days on clothes; helps protect against many blood-sucking insects.
some users report a quick consumption and an oily feeling on the skin after application.
“Raptor” to protect the territory from mosquitoes
This aerosol has a different purpose than the previous ones – it is not sprayed on the skin or clothes, but the surrounding objects are treated – trees, bushes, grass, furniture, arbors. The active ingredient in the spray is transfluthrin, which has a broad means of action – it repels mosquitoes, flies, midges, mosquitoes, ants and ticks with spiders. The agent gradually evaporates and does not allow bloodsuckers to penetrate to the resting place, moreover, for quite a long time – up to 8 hours.
Due to the fact that there is no direct contact with the agent, the Raptor aerosol will not damage the skin, will not stain clothes, it does not have a pungent odor (it smells nice of lemon). It should be noted that the tool acts stationary, that is, it can be applied only if you are in one place (for example, during a picnic). But if you need to move (when working in the garden, while walking), you are unlikely to feel the protective effect. It is also worth considering that you can count on maximum protection only in dry and calm weather, which decreases with rain and wind.
Pros and cons
does not affect the skin; active against many insects; pleasant lemon scent.
is valid only in stationary conditions and in dry calm weather; high price in the segment.
How to choose a mosquito repellent
The choice of mosquito repellent primarily depends on where and for how long you are going. If you are on a long hike, a long walk or plan to have a picnic in nature for the whole day, then it is better to use aerosols with a maximum duration. It is convenient – it is enough to be processed at home, and the effect will last up to 8 hours.
If you plan to go for a short walk or work in the garden for a short time, products with a short duration and a lower active ingredient content are sufficient 2 .
Another important point is that the aerosol must be applied correctly. Many of us are accustomed to going outside (and some even do it indoors) and getting sprayed from head to toe. In no case should this be done, since all aerosols are dangerous if they get into the eyes and mucous membranes. If the aerosol is applied to the skin, then first you need to spray it on the palm of your hand, and then rub it into the body. If on clothes – it must be hung on a hanger, taken out into the open air and carefully processed to a slightly damp state. Then let it dry and only then put it on, and it is better not on a naked body, but over linen. After handling, wash your hands thoroughly with soap.
According to dermatovenereologist Elena Brezhneva , the main requirement that repellent must meet is safety for the human body. Therefore, when choosing a mosquito repellent, it is first necessary to pay attention to the composition and concentration of the active substance.
– The active ingredient in most modern repellents is DEET (diethyltoluamide). According to the parameters of acute toxicity, this substance, when applied to the skin, belongs to the IV class of low-hazard substances that can be harmful to health if the method of their application is not followed. The concentration of DEET causes different ways of using drugs. Repellents with a low concentration of DEET (5-7%) are approved for children aged 2 years and older and are used on clothing. 7-20% DEET repellents are the most common option and are used on adult skin and clothing. The duration of DEET-based products is several hours.
Repellents based on IR 3535 are allowed for young children (from 3 months of age), as well as pregnant and lactating women. This substance is synthesized from a naturally occurring amino acid. The safety profile of such repellents is higher than that of DEET-containing ones, however, the duration of their action is significantly inferior to the latter and averages 1-2 hours,” explains Elena Brezhneva.
Our expert also notes that recently new forms of repellents have appeared on sale – bracelets, stickers, pendants based on essential oils of geranium, lavender, citronella, mint. Such products have low protective properties, however, taking into account their safety, they can be used in children (mainly with a low number of blood-sucking insects).
– It is important to check the expiration date of the repellent before purchasing it. It is advisable to give preference to repellents without alcohol in the composition in order to avoid the occurrence of dry skin, the doctor advises.
Popular Questions and Answers
Dermatovenerologist Elena Brezhneva answers the most popular questions about mosquito repellents.
What folk ways can help protect against mosquitoes?
– Anise, orange, cedar, lavender, geranium, eucalyptus essential oils repel mosquitoes and can be used as household repellents. To do this, a small amount of oils must be applied to the skin. Also, rowan leaves will help protect against mosquitoes: for this you need to rub them in your hands and apply the resulting slurry to the skin. Valerian and fresh elderberry branches also have a repellent effect on mosquitoes. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that the protective properties of “natural” repellents are much lower than those of industrial ones.
How to relieve itching and swelling if a mosquito bites?
– Topical antihistamine gels are used to relieve the symptoms of a mosquito bite. These agents have antipruritic and cooling effects. Polydoconal-based products are also highly effective. You can use remedies after mosquito bites, which contain cooling and anti-inflammatory substances.
When should I see a doctor for a mosquito bite?
– If you experience unusual symptoms after a mosquito bite (severe swelling or redness of the skin extending beyond the bite site, fever, weakness), you should consult a doctor. Also, if suppuration of the bite site occurs, a doctor’s consultation is required. In the event of difficulty in breathing after a bite, it is necessary to immediately call the ambulance team.
What dangerous diseases can a mosquito carry?
– In our country, mosquitoes can cause infection with tularemia and (potentially) anthrax, malaria, and also dirofilariasis. Transmission of infection by mosquitoes occurs when biting, that is, transmissible.
Infections that are not typical for Russia can be brought into the country by sick people, animals or infected vectors that are able to travel long distances by sea, air, rail and road.
In addition, it is important to try to reduce the population of blood-sucking mosquitoes by limiting the opportunities for their reproduction. For example, in the country, make sure that there are no open containers with water on the territory, and drain basements in residential buildings.
The third important element of prevention is to install screens on the windows, as well as apply repellents and other personal protective equipment.
Photo: market.yandex.ru, KP
How to choose the right mosquito repellent for children
Consider the age of the child and the amount of time you are going to spend outside.
Author of Lifehacker, athlete, CCM
Which mosquito repellents are suitable for children
The instructions of the American Academy of Pediatrics list four effective remedies for biting blood-sucking insects – mosquitoes, horseflies, ticks and fleas.
1. DEET Repellents
DEET (diethyltoluamide) is a chemical that blocks mosquitoes’ receptors, preventing them from finding humans. It has been used as a repellant since the middle of the last century and is still one of the most effective and safe means to protect against blood-sucking insects.
The more diethyltoluamide the mosquito spray contains, the longer the effect lasts. So, products with 5% DEET provide protection for up to 2 hours, with 10% – about 3 hours, with 15% – 5 hours and with 30% – 6 hours.
The higher content of the substance does not provide additional benefits, pediatricians do not advise buying such mosquito repellents for children. In addition, DEET repellents are not suitable for babies under two months old.
2. Picaridin-based products
This synthetic substance works in much the same way as DEET – it prevents blood-sucking insects from smelling prey.
Products with 10-20% picaridin provide 95% protection in the first 6 hours and 85% protection 8-9 hours after application.
They are considered safe, but require strict adherence to the instructions for application.
3. Essential Oil Products
Lemon eucalyptus oil or 2% soy oil repellents can provide bite protection for 2-3 hours. In this case, we are talking about insect repellents, and not essential oils in their pure form.
Repellents with 10-12% citronella essential oil are less effective – it only works for about 15-20 minutes, an hour maximum.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that mosquito repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil (OLE) and one of its ingredients, paramenthanediol (PMD), are not suitable for children under three years of age.
In addition, any essential oil can cause an allergy in a child, although this is quite rare.
4. Permethrin products
Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide and acaricide that kills insects on contact. It protects well from both mosquitoes and ticks.
Products with permethrin are intended for treatment of clothing and footwear, tents and sleeping bags. They should not be applied to the skin or splashed on an already dressed child.
When using these compounds, treat items or camping equipment 24-48 hours before use to allow them to dry.
Unlike repellents, permethrin mosquito repellents work really long. Even after washing, the item treated with insecticide retains its protective properties.
Which mosquito repellent won’t help
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against spending money:
Some eco-friendly bloodsuckers keep birds or bats at home to hunt mosquitoes and flies. But this exotic option also cannot be considered an effective protection against bites.
How to properly apply mosquito repellent for children
When applying repellents, follow a few rules:
What to do after applying mosquito repellent for children
If you are using the product for the first time, keep an eye on the condition of your child’s skin. If a rash, redness or other allergy symptoms appear, immediately wash off the composition with warm water and soap and contact your pediatrician.