Repellents are compounds that are placed on skin or clothing to prevent mosquitoes from biting. These compounds are usually in the form of an aerosol or pump spray, or a lotion.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends four specific compounds for this purpose. They are:

  • DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide)
  • Picaridin (KBR 3023, Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester )
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus* or PMD (Chemical Name: para-Menthane-3,8-diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)

Of these compounds, those containing DEET and Picaridin are the most widely available commercial products.

DEET is the standard by which all other repellents are compared. It is the most commonly used repellent, and has been available for over 50 years. Some individuals find that DEET irritates their skin, and DEET can also dissolve some plastics (such as sunglasses) and other materials.

Picaridin is still relatively new, but can be readily found in most stores selling repellents. Many individuals prefer products with this compound because it is relatively scent free and is generally less irritating to the skin.

See this link for more information.

Repelling mosquitoes from an area

While Citronella candles and ultrasonic devices are ineffectual as area repellents, district personnel have had good success with the ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent for this purpose. It can be found in many area retail stores—frequently in the sporting goods section.