The Best Mosquito Spray According to Science
Which mosquito spray is the best?
Repel, OFF, Cutter, EcoSmart are all different brands of mosquito sprays that claim to keep the bugs off of you, but which performs the best and lasts the longest? We have tried many different types of spray, and tried combining them with permethrin, wrist bands, and candles.
While we may have our ideas on which works best, science is here to the rescue to show us factual data on which spray performs the best on it’s own. Here are the ‘best performers’ from the Oxford Journal of Insect Science:
The higher the number in the results, the more the mosquitoes were attracted to the subjects. It’s easy to see that all three mosquito spray types performed remarkably better than no spray at all.
The Best Mosquito Spray
While some sprays are very effective immediately, many trail off in their effectiveness as time passes. DEET and eucalyptus appear to have the longest staying power of the repellents. The Repel 100 has relatively good initial effectiveness, and is the lowest of all options tested after four hours. It is worth noting that Repel 100 has 98.1% DEET content. You can find Repel 100 in many stores, and on Amazon here, as well as the other top performers:
What Sprays Were Tested?
- Repel 100 Insect Repellent (98.1% DEET)
- OFF Deep Woods Insect Repellent (25% DEET)
- Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent (7% DEET)
- Cutter Natural Insect Repellent (5% Geraniol, 2% Soybean Oil)
- EcoSmart Organic Insect Repellent (1% Geraniol, 0.5% Rosemary Oil, 0.5% Cinnamon Oil, 0.5% Lemongrass Oil)
- Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent (30% Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus which is 65% p-menthane-3-8-diol)
- Avon Skin so Soft Bug Guard (20% Oil of Citronella)
- Avon Skin so Soft Bath Oil Fragrance (Unknown Content)
- Victoria Secret Bombshell Fragrance (Unknown Content)
- Mosquito Skin Patch (Thiamin B1 300mg)
While it is interesting they tried a couple fragrances to see how they perform, there is one oddity that stands out in these results. Victoria Secret Bombshell fragrance outperformed the Mosquito Skin Patch. The control in the experiment outperformed the Mosquito Skin Patch. The Mosquito Skin Patch looks from the results to attract mosquitoes rather than repel them, which is very ridiculous.
Types of Mosquitoes
They tested the mosquito sprays on two types of mosquitoes: Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. Our table and shared results are based on the more common Ae. aegypti. If you look at the other type of mosquito, the EcoSmart spray performed very well on that one species.
Why does Mosquito Spray Matter?
Mosquitoes are a disease vector. They can carry Zika virus, malaria, West Nile virus, elephantiasis, many types of encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever, and even parasites. Preventing mosquito bites is important, especially if one of these are common in your geographical area. Nets, sprays, clothing, and shelter should all be used to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Here is the link for the study performed:
Journal of Insect Science: http://jinsectscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/1/140
The Final Word
Mosquitoes are pretty nasty insects, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep them at bay. According to science, picking up some Repel 100 is the best way to do just that.
Another insect to keep an eye out for is the tick. Check out why the CDC is pleading that Americans to protect themselves from ticks and tick-borne diseases. Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.
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