Which Mosquito Repellent Is Most Effective?



Most Effective Mosquito Repellent

What are the most effective mosquito repellents?

1.According to ingredients: (a) DEET, (b) picaridin, and; (c) IR3535
2. According to solutions: (a) Repelling Wristbands, (b) natural lotions and sprays, and; (c) synthetic lotions and sprays

Houston, we have a problem: It’s the summer season, A.K.A. the time all mosquitoes know and love. You see, these nasty bloodsuckers thrive in tropical areas (read: hot and humid environments). And since the Philippines just got a bit more humid due to the summer weather, mosquitoes are on the lookout to, well, suck your blood.

Most would take precautions and immediately call pest control services to deal with the few mosquitoes they see within their vicinity. Others would go with mosquito coils, while others will opt for mosquito repellents.

But with so many out in the market, how do you choose the best one? By best, we mean it’s like the parting of the Red Sea when you pass through a group of mosquitoes untouched. Read on, as we’ll tackle which mosquito repellent is most effective.

However, before we proceed with these solutions, it’s still best to address the common lack of knowledge of most consumers with regards to repellents.


A common issue for consumers is the lack of knowledge in mosquito repellents, which often leads to wasted efforts of purchasing solutions to mosquito infestation. While people may know the brand, it may not be sufficient, especially when determining which solution would work best for your mosquito problem.

According to Forbes, survey results showed that almost all consumers who participated in the survey were unfamiliar with effective insect repellent ingredients, namely picaridin and IR3535. Though, at the very least, they have been made aware of DEET.

Going further with Forbes’ survey results, it also showed a misconception on citronella which was believed to be a “natural” ingredient on mosquito repellents. What’s disturbing about it was that there was a major 73% of the participants who agreed that it was effective, even though it is not.

To avoid further misconception on these mosquito repellent ingredients, here are among the most effective ingredients that you should look for in your purchase for a mosquito repellent:

  • DEET

This well-known mosquito repellent ingredient has been known to effectively get rid of mosquitoes and avoid the risks of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika virus, malaria, or West Nile virus. It was developed for soldiers way back in 1946 by the United States Army, and was later licensed for the use of consumers by 1957.

It is commonly available in various forms, be it that the consumer prefers the solution in liquids, sprays, lotions or roll-ons. Unlike other mosquito repellents, DEET is advised to be applied directly on the skin in order to avoid mosquitoes from detecting people. This is because DEET mainly affects the mosquitoes’ receptors. Unlike its effect on mosquitoes, consumers can safely use any solution that contains DEET given that it has not shown any effects such as cancer, or birth defects despite the constant use.

In fact, regular usage is recommended for the young, given that they are more prone to mosquito bites and the diseases that it transmits.


Made in the 1980s, picaridin effectively repels insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and chiggers. This synthetic compound was developed to resemble piperine, a compound found in a group of plants that naturally produces black pepper.

Primarily, it helps block a person’s scent from the insects in order to avoid insect bites. However, unlike other repellents, it does not kill them.

To use a solution containing picaridin, apply it directly on the skin and clothing, however, it cannot be avoided to experience skin irritation at times.

  • IR3535

IR3535 (or Insect Repellent 3535) is also a synthetic compound developed by Merck in the 1980s. Basically, its original chemical name is Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate.

This chemical is a synthetic amino acid, which, similar to the first two mosquito repellent ingredients, blocks the insect’s sense of smell. It’s an effective ingredient given that it has been used to avoid Aedes mosquito species which are the main carriers of Zika, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, and Yellow Fever back in the days.

The only downside of IR3535 is that, it’s not as effective when it comes to Anopheles mosquitoes which transmits Malaria disease.


There are 3 kinds of solutions for this problem: wristbands, natural, and synthetic (read: branded) lotions & sprays. We’ll take a close look at each one and evaluate how helpful they really are in keeping mosquitoes at bay.

Repelling Wristbands

mosquito wristband

You may have seen these in some health clinic or medical boutique packaged in a clear, small plastic bag. It may have natural ingredients like citronella, or even a synthetic solution such as DEET on a small portion of the band. It may even have tiny device that creates mosquito-repelling sound waves. Sounds pretty cool, huh?

Believe us when we say that this is all form, no function. Sure, there are repellents attached to a part of this wristband, but if you’re wearing one, it will offer you zero protection. Oh, did you see that? A mosquito just bit you in the hand where you are wearing the wristband. Don’t buy this for your family members. They don’t work.

Natural lotions & sprays

citronella lotion

Natural repellents are made from the oil extracts of plants. Lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, clove, and germanium are just some of the plants these natural solutions are made from. Though they do offer protection against mosquitoes, it is very minimal at best, ranging from 3 to 20 minutes tops. Plus, they have to be reapplied to your skin at least every two hours. Not really your best defense.

Synthetic lotions & sprays

synthetic lotion

The main ingredient of commercially sold repellents is DEET, a man-made chemical that is proven to be very, very effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay. DEET applications last from 1.5 hours to 5 hours max! Check the ingredient label of a product to make sure DEET is included. The more percentage of DEET there is in, the stronger the product. Avoid spraying in the eyes and mouth, as they are toxic, especially for kids.

Key Takeaway

So, which one?

Based on our analysis, synthetic lotions and sprays win this round. Because of their longevity, they are the most effective mosquito repellents in the market.

We hope you learned something new today. Do you agree with the facts written here? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know what you think.

9 Signs Your House Is Infested With Termites


Signs that your house is infested with termites

  1. Hollow sound of wooden furniture
  2. Broken and damaged furniture
  3. Shelter tubes on wooden surfaces
  4. Dirt on the wood
  5. Groups of winged insects and discarded wings
  6. Blowholes in trees
  7. Piles of frass
  8. Tree nests
  9. Subterranean Tunnels

A termite infestation is one of the worst home management problems to deal with. They can cause major property damage if left untreated and undetected and, in addition, can remain undetected since they burrow from the inside out of a wooden structure. No home is safe from this pest predicament. Anywhere there is moisture, soil, wood, or materials made of cellulose, termites will be close by, ready to strike when no one is watching.

Termite Control - 5 Signs Your House Is Infested With Termites

Before you call a termite control provider in the Philippines, it is best to do a little self-inspection to prove if there are termites residing in your home. Aside from saving you a few bucks on consultation fees, it teaches you how to manage your own home from these pesky critters. Here are 9 signs your house is infested with termites:

Sign #1: Pieces of wood/wooden furniture sound hollow.

In order to check if termites have infested your home, start with your furniture. If you have wooden pieces, there’s a chance termites could be living in them. An added bonus is that wood coupled with moisture is a double magnet for termites. They derive water and the moisture to survive, as they dry out easily. Get a hammer and gently tap the surface of the wood. If it sounds empty, you can be sure that termites have made their home inside. The damage gradually moves from the inside out. Which leads to…

Sign #2: Broken or damaged furniture.

Over time, the termites burrowing and eating of the wood will also weaken its structure. This is because they eat wood in a honeycomb pattern which leaves the inside essentially be hollow. Also, they eat wood from inside out, which could make a wooden structure appear to be fine, but, in reality, it has become frail.

If a wooden chair or table leg breaks after someone applies too much weight on it, or a portion of a wooden platform looks chipped, take a closer look.

Termite Control - Signs Of Termites

The openings look like see-through tunnel passages, with a few holes spread out as the entrances or exits. If a few insects come out, they’re either carpenter ants or termites.

Also, be wary of sagging floors. This is a sign that termites have eaten out the foundations of the flooring. Such damage could cause the floor to give way which is both dangerous and possibly fatal.

Sign #3: Shelter tubes leading to wooden surfaces

As mentioned earlier, termites need moisture to survive, as they have very delicate frames. One species of termites called subterranean termites need to build shelter tubes made of mud leading to their shelter/food source to protect them from the harsh environment. This also protects them from predators. Due to their need for moisture, they avoid desiccating by building these tunnels at night.

These tunnels are usually brown in color and have a clay-like texture. They can be as narrow as 10 millimeters and as wide as 50 millimeters; the larger the tunnel, the more worker and soldier termites can be transported; the more termites means more damage. Take preventive measures immediately if you see narrow mud tunnels in and around your home. Call pest control if the tunnels are wide.

To see if the shelter tubes are active, break it and return a while later to see if it is rebuilt, notes Susan Jones, a professor of entomology at Ohio State University.

Sign #4: Dirt on the wood

Since termites use mud and soil to build their shelter tubes, chances are they’ll be covered in them too while crawling on or in a wooden surface. When inspecting a piece of wood with holes and cracks similar to that in sign #2. If there are pieces of mud and dirt, that’s a sign that termites have taken refuge.

Sign #5: Groups of winged insects or discarded wings

Based on Ron Harrison’s, a writer for realtor.com, gathered research, you may see a swarm of insects flying in your home. These are called swarmer termites that take flight looking for places to create new colonies. If you notice a group of them, or fallen wings on a surface, Harrison’s advice is to call a termite expert to check it out.

Subterranean termites look for new habitats for their colonies during spring time. Seeing discarded wings in or around your home during this season could mean that a new colony could be terrorizing your home.

Sign #6: Blowholes in Trees

Colonies are formed in tree root crowns and trunks for both dry wood and subterranean termites, but is more common for the latter. When the colony has to deal and fight with invaders, slits on trunks are created in case the termites need to escape. But when the fighting is over, worker termites seal the holes and the tree will produce a callus where the slits used to be. If you see these calluses, then knock on the trunk where it is present to hear if it is hollow which would mean that termites have invaded.

Sign #7: Piles of Frass

Frass is the term used to refer to the droppings of termites. These tiny pellets can be found at or near possible termite entry points. Google exactly how this looks like and look for the presence of these inside or directly outside your home. If you do find these, then termites are definitely around your home.

Sign #8: Tree Nest

Aside from slits on tree roots and trunks, large chunks of mud should also be visible on the surface of trees especially if it holds an active colony. Seeing such a sign is an indicator of a heavy infestation and pest control must immediately be sought out.

Sign #9: Subterranean Tunnels

Subterranean termites can also construct an underground system of tunnels to get to a food source. They also use this system to transport the food back to their colony. This tunnel system is usually 20 centimeters deep and with a 50 meter radius from the colony. While this is a difficult sign to spot, take the opportunity to observe this if ever any diggings happen at your home.