We spent 60 hours on testing and researching the best mosquito repellent options, and then comparing them. We have selected the Mosquito Repellent Bracelet by Simple Natural Products as our best overall choice in fighting the war against these bug bites. It is a citronella based bracelet solution that comes with 15 bracelets in a pack.
There are several options when it comes to fighting off bugs and their bites. Some are chemical or synthetic based, and others take an all-natural approach. You can buy these solutions in the form of sprays, patches, and bracelets.
Table of Contents
What Features are Important
Sweet summertime. Playing outside, sitting poolside, spending time with family and friends on the porch. We love it as much as you do. What we don’t love is the workout our arms get from swatting away the mosquitoes or the endless itches our kids get when they come in from a day spent outside.
Using a mosquito repellent is important even if you go outside for just a brief amount of time. Mosquitoes carry certain disease and viruses that are transferred by their bite. In North America, we’ve been affected by the Zika and West Nile viruses in recent years and need to increase our diligence in protecting ourselves and our family members against these bugs. Many manufacturers use chemicals like DEET and Picaridin to repel the mosquito in their products, but there have been rises in the concerns about using some of these products and their safety. In our research, we considered these reports and found the DEET has been linked to several unfavorable reactions. At Duke University, there was a study done that identified brain cell death and behavioral changes as possible links to frequent and long term DEET exposure. In the late 1980’s some National Park employees linked their negative reactions to DEET exposure as well. These reactions included skin irritations, nausea, dizziness, and numb lips. While other studies have concluded that the likelihood of this reaction happening in all users isn’t that likely, we wanted to include all-natural options in our testing to see how they stacked up.
There are a few other options that you can find in insect repellents. Some of those ingredients are picaridin, citronella, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, and 2-Undecanone. Let’s look at those ingredients in a little more detail.
Picaridin is a synthetic compound that arrived on the scene in the 1980’s. It was manufactured to resemble piperine which is among the plants that are used to produce black pepper. Up until 2005, it wasn’t available in the United States, but you could find it used in Europe in Australia in their insect repellents. It forms a barrier on the skin to deter hungry insects from smelling your blood.
Citronella oil is one of the essential oils derived from the Cymbopogon plant. This plant is more commonly known as lemongrass. You can find it in oils that are used to repel summer pests via tikitorches; you can also buy the citronella plant as a porch friendly and not toxic way to keep mosquitos at bay. Since we can’t easily carry around a torch or plant, the oil is applied to various products that assist in a more mobile way of working to do the job. A bonus of the citronella oil is its strong antifungal properties. Some studies have found that it can even calm a barking dog!
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus was introduced to the United States market in 2005 as a repellent agent. This “stinky” oil masks our human scent and therefore confuses the bugs when they are looking for a place to land. In chemical circles, it’s sometimes identified by the initials PMD. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is found in small quantities in the essential oils of a tree native to Australia, the Corymbiacitriodora.
IR3535 is a registered product of pharmaceutical giant Merck. It is a biochemical substance that is used in insect repellents.
2-Undecanone is manufactured synthetically but is an oily organic liquid that can also be extracted from oil of rue. Naturally, it can be found in bananas, ginger, guava fruit, cloves, and even strawberries.
Geraniol is an alcohol that is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosaoil, and citronella oil. It can be found in small quantities of geranium, lemon, and other essential oils.
Mosquito Repellent Features that are Important
When looking for a repellent that works, you will want to make sure that first and foremost, it repels the mosquitos. Having easy access to the product and not having to reapply often is also important. Long lasting solutions are ideal, especially when applying to children. And while we are mentioning children, we want to find a product that does not have toxic results associated with it.
How We Selected
There are a lot of options on the market for repelling insects, but for our review, we decided to the focus on those that address mosquitoes specifically. We turned to sites like Wellness Mama that focus on natural solutions and family based options for their products. There were a lot of recipes for making your own with essential oils, so we looked at the ingredients in those concoctions and made sure that some of our products tested included those blends.
How We Tested
Mosquito Repellent Ingredients
The first we that we looked at is the combination of ingredients that are used to repel mosquitos in the products that we would review.
|Brand||Mosquito Repelling Ingredients|
|Caselast Premium Mosquito Repellent Bracelets||Citronella, Geraniol & Lemongrass|
|Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Bracelet||Citronella oil|
|Repel 94100 Sportsmen Mosquito Repellent Wipes||30% Deet|
|Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Patch||Citronella Oil|
|Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller|
|Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent (Aerosol)||25% Deet|
Hours of Protection Offered
The time that you are protected is one of the most important features of a mosquito repellent. Getting your kids back into the house, or getting additional coverage while you are outside is not always easy or convenient.
|Brand||Hours of Protection|
|Caselast Premium Mosquito Repellent Bracelets||Each bracelet “could” last up to 250 hours|
|Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Bracelet||Each bracelet lasts 240 hours|
|Repel 94100 Sportsmen Mosquito Repellent Wipes||Unidentified on product specifications or on manufacturers website|
|Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Patch||72 hours per patch|
|Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller||4 hours per mat; each butane cartridge 12 hours|
|Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent (Aerosol)||10 hours per application|
Form of Product
What type of product you are purchasing is not just based on the ingredients, but how those ingredients are delivered. We took a look at various models and options in the fight against mosquito bites to make a note of what worked best in theday to day situations.
|Brand||Form of Product|
|Caselast Premium Mosquito Repellent Bracelets||Spring bracelet|
|Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Bracelet||Microfiber adjustable bracelet|
|Repel 94100 Sportsmen Mosquito Repellent Wipes||Disposable wipes|
|Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Patch||Peel and stick patch sheets|
|Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller||Portable plastic unit|
|Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent (Aerosol)||Spray – Aerosol Can|
What We Liked
After looking at the variety of mosquito repellents offered, we liked the versatility of those products that could be taken easily on the go. This included bracelets from Caselast and Simple Natural Products and patches that were easy to take on the road like those from Simple Natural Products. Boats, cars, plane, and trains were all options for carrying our coverage with us!
We liked going with products that offered all natural solutions like those again from Caselast and Simple Natural Products. While there are studies that say Deet use is not dangerous, there are also contradictory reports, and we would prefer to err on the side of caution, especially when it came down to giving coverage to our kids.
What We Didn’t Like
We don’t want a wipe or product that comes with a warning message. Sure anything that you are using to repel insects may have warning signs, but the more natural options were less threatening. A butane cartridge like on the Thermacell had us pausing a bit when you think about how it would be on your body. The fact that you had to wash off the product for Repel when you came inside was also not something we wanted to deal with. While there may be a need for such strong protection outside of the United States, for everyday use, we prefer to go the natural route.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to mosquito repellents. From the ingredients used to the method of delivery, you have a lot of decisions to make on what works best for you. Consider how often you need coverage, and if you will be traveling. You should also take count of who will be using the product, and if the safety of each ingredient is approved for that audience.