What is the Most Effective Mosquito Repellent in Illinois and Indiana?
There are a number of types of mosquito repellents: repellents for the skin, repellent for clothing, and repellent for your home or yard. Most formulas on the market today contain either DEET or picaridin, which is a newer formula.
With so many options to choose from, how do you know which repellent is the most effective. More often than not, EPA-approved repellents containing DEET are considered to be the gold standard at keeping mosquitoes away.
Picaridin vs. DEET Mosquito Repellents
Most mosquito repellents at your local store contain one of two chemicals: picaridin or DEET. So which is the better option to keep mosquitoes away? Here’s how these two repellents differ:
- DEET was developed by the U.S. Army in the ‘40s and has been used ever since. Although it has been under scrutiny in the past, DEET has been approved by the EPA after reports that it does not pose a health concern. Concentrations of DEET between 10 and 30 percent have proven to provide up to 12 hours of protection against mosquitoes. It is important to note that DEET can damage plastic and synthetic gear.
- Picaridin is effective against many types of insects, including ticks and flies. Picaridin has minimal odor, no effect on plastics, and is a common chemical found in today’s repellents. It has comparable protection against mosquitoes as DEET, but is considered to be the most effective against flies rather than mosquitoes.
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Are Mosquito Repellents Dangerous?
If you are in the market for a mosquito repellent, always look for a product that has been approved by the EPA. Most repellents available at your local store contain 10-30% DEET or up to 20% picaridin. When using these repellents, it is recommended to do a skin patch test to ensure you have no reaction to the repellent. Follow instructions directly as written on the product, and speak with your pediatrician about use on children. When repellents are applied as directed, they are completely safe for you and your family.
How Long Does Mosquito Repellent Last On the Skin?
Some repellents will require reapplication after a period of time to ensure continued effectiveness, especially when you are planning to spend time outdoors for hours. No matter what type of mosquito repellent you use, it is crucial to follow the instructions on the label. When in doubt, always speak with a medical professional about the use of mosquito repellents.