Depending on the number of people you are trying to protect, the amount of time you are trying to keep mosquitoes away and to stop mosquito itch, each repellent method provides a set of benefits.
- Natural Sprays. Herbal sprays are derived from oils that repel mosquitoes and other insects naturally, such as cedar-wood, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, and peppermint.
These sprays are recommended for young children as a less harsh form of protection. These repellents usually have a strong smell and need to be reapplied every hour.
They range anywhere from forty to eighty percent effective, so you may wish to read consumer reviews for several different products before choosing a natural spray.
- Chemical Agents. Chemical sprays are much harsher and can leave a residue that can even wipe the ink off of labels when left on hands. They also have a strong smell; usually the stronger the smell the more effective the product. DEET based repellents are the most effective and have been used for decades.
- Botanical Lotions. Botanical lotions have been found to be the most effective of these applications. Rating up to ninety percent effective, some lotions can last for up to two hours and have a lighter feel on the skin.
Most do contain a small percentage of DEET but are still environmentally friendly, and while they still can have a strong smell, they are far less odorous than both chemical and natural sprays.
Torches and Candles
- Similar to lemongrass, this grass is a natural insect repellent. It is most commonly used in a candle form or in torches that can be staked into the ground around the area to be protected.
Candles are usually about forty percent effective, and while they do offer some protection, it is good to use it them combination with personal applicators if you are afraid of being bitten.
- Infused Apparel. Believe it or not, there is even chemical infused apparel available from some retailers. The material is treated with a patented pesticide and wards off ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs.
The repellent usually lasts through twenty-five washes. The effectiveness of these products is high, but they come at a higher price tag and only protect the region of the body nearest to the treated material.
- Nets are the only completely chemical-free way to keep mosquitoes out. Mosquito nets are light and very effective at preventing mosquitoes from entering a confined space. This makes mosquito nets ideal for protecting small spaces such as beds, but not practical for moving around outdoors.
Home Misting Systems
Home misting systems are a modern and highly effective method of keeping mosquitoes at bay. These systems spray an area around the home periodically and clear the air of any pests.
Although you will still need lotions or sprays when you leave home, a home misting system will allow you to enjoy your back yard without the need for greasy sprays or strong smelling candles and torches.
Sprays and lotion work best for those traveling away from home, whereas home misting systems are more appropriate for home use.
Covering up arms and legs when possible is a good chemical-free method of protecting yourself, but the summer heat may make this impractical.