Best Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito repellent Review

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

 


Best Mosquito Repellent

Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

The Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Bracelets are our top pick because they have an array of colors in adjustable bands that fit the whole family.  The variety and long-lasting citronella based solution come in a range of five assorted color choices. We loved how this affordable option gave us a lot of coverage in an all natural solution.  They are great for both travel and every day adventures.


Runner Up

Mosquito Repellent Patch by Simple Natural Products

The Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Patch is our top pick in patch repellent options.  A handy resealable 78-piece pack of patches also used the same citronella based solution and was easy to use in a lot of unusual ways. It also was a great option for travel and on the go coverage.  We found it to be a really versatile solution that we could use where other repellents wouldn’t be able to be utilized.   Burning a citronella candle is one way to keep the mosquitoes at bay, but sticking a patch on your chair or under your table works great too!

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.
Mosquitoes
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!
Mosquito Repellent Spray
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.
Mosquito Repellent Aerosol

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

Reviews

Caselast Premium Mosquito Repellent Bracelets – Deet Free

Caselast Premium Mosquito Repellent Bracelets
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The Caselast packet of bracelets was decent with the offering of 22 colored bracelets and a bonus pack of 18 patches in fun designs.  We liked the choices in bracelets (red, blue, yellow and green) and the resealable packet is good for travel.  They recommend that you use the waterproof bracelets for up to 7 or 8 days.  While the spring bracelet is easy enough to put on, it was limited in size options and flexibility to attach to other items as we could do with the Simple Natural Products line.

Mosquito Repellent Bracelets by Simple Natural Products

Mosquito Repellent Bracelets by Simple Natural Products
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We liked these 100% citronella based bracelets best because they offered ten solid days of protection from a plant based solution.  The material was a soft microfiber cloth that didn’t irritate any of the testers wrists, and the adjustable length could be used by members of all sizes.  The bright colors were a hit with the kids, and with five assorted color choices (yellow, lime green, hot pink, light pink, and light blue) everyone could select their own.  We sent a batch of these off with two testers to Mexico, and they were happy to report that they were the only ones in their travel group who were not marked up by bug bites at the end of each day.  One tester gave a pack to a friend who was having a baby, and she strapped them onto her stroller, and another tester found it was perfect to clasp onto her dog’s collar while they went on hikes and walks.  This was the most versatile product we tested with the longest lasting.  We loved that we could buy a pack, throw it in our beach bag, on the boat, in our car, and always be ready.  Kids could wear one throughout the day without worrying about reapplication, and if they lost it, we had abackup at an affordable cost!

Repel 94100 Sportsmen 30-Percent Deet Mosquito Repellent Wipes

Repel Sportsmen Mosquito Repellent Wipes
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The Repel Sportsmen 30% Deet Wipes were a nice portable solution so you can take them on the go and refresh as needed.  They offered a wipe on protection that repelled not just mosquitoes but also ticks, chiggers, biting fleas, gnats and fleas.  We appreciated the variety of bugs that will be addressed with these wipes but still, have a hesitancy to wipe them on our face or other areas that might be affected by the Deet.  The single pouch is also great because it re-seals, but not so great because if left open, the other wipes could dry out quite easily.  An option for traveling if you are restricted to space or carry on liquids.  The directions do not indicate how long each wipe will protect you, and you do have to wash it off when you return from the outdoors.  Additionally, it cannot be applied to children’s hands – nor is it recommend that they handle it.  That had us questioning if it was even a good idea to apply to the kids at all.

Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Patch

Simple Natural Products Mosquito Repellent Patch
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The Simple Natural Product line of mosquito repellent products includes both the top pick of the bracelets and these patches.  We love the patches just as much, and their versatility was wonderful.  We tested them outside and put them on our patio furniture, stuck on a stroller, and used them wherever we wanted additional protection from mosquitoes.  We really liked how they were safe for kids to use with their all-natural citronella based repellent, and we could slap a patch on the kid’s shorts before they ran outside.  The downside of these is that they aren’t as reusable as the bracelets, but they did offer long lasting repellent qualities.  A huge value with 78 in a resealable package, and each patch offering 72 hours of protection. An awesome solution to keep in your bag or glove box for unexpected outdoor events, and ideal for travel.

Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller

Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller
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We wanted to check out a different and chemical free type of mosquito repellent, and so we took a long at the Thermacell Portable model.  It offers a 15-foot mosquito protection zone without the use of any spray, lotion, chemical, or oils on the skin.  The butane cartridge (included) lasts up to 12 hours and includes 3 insect repellent mats that last up to 4 hours each.  You can buy additional refill mats as needed.  While we love the idea of this, it’s not practical for kids or general everyday use.  It is ideal for hunters and campers who want to keep something near their tent, or even on their body while hunting.

Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent (Aerosol)

Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent
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The Cutter Backwoods spray is a Deet based solution that repels mosquitoes up to ten hours per application.  We liked the effectiveness but didn’t like the Deet inclusion.  Because this was an aerosol can, you had to be cautious during application to not get any in your eyes and face.  Not an easy feat when dealing with a squirmy child.  It also was not the ideal solution for travel since you can’t really fly with the 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!
Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
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.

Conclusion

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.

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Author: Cheryl C.

Cheryl is a Senior Editor for ReadPlease and a contributor to several other leading consumer review sites. When Cheryl isn't researching, testing and writing, you'll find her enjoying a yoga class.

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