Which is the most effective mosquito repelling product?

February 10, 2019
  • Which is the best?
    1 / 7 Which is the best?

    Which products are the most effective at repelling mosquitoes? We find out.
    Make sure you do your part to prevent mosquito breeding as well, by doing the 5-step mozzie wipeout. 


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  • Chemical  repellents
    2 / 7 Chemical repellents

     Most effective active ingredients: Deet or picaridin
    – Concentration of 6% offers 2 hours’ protection
    – Concentration of 20% offers 4 hours’ protection

    Take note:
    – Use concentration of 10% and below for children
    – These chemicals may trigger allergic reactions

    Related: Mosquitoes: why do some children get bitten more than others?


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  • Citronella and other oils
    3 / 7 Citronella and other oils

    – These are not as effective as Deet-containing repellents.
    – They repel mosquitoes by masking body chemicals.
    – They include plant-based oils such as lemon eucalyptus, cedar, peppermint and lemongrass.

    Take note:
    – Such products may irritate the skin.

    Related: Mosquito bites on babies: how to treat and prevent

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  • Mosquito patches and wristbands
    4 / 7 Mosquito patches and wristbands

    – These are scented with citronella or similar oils, which helps to prevent mosquitoes from smelling humans.

    Take note:
    – It’s unclear how long such patches last, or how many patches a person needs.
    – Different brands also come in different strengths.

    Related: 6 dengue myths and facts every parent should know

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  • Carbon dioxide traps
    5 / 7 Carbon dioxide traps

    – These attract and kill mosquitoes.

    Take note:
    – People generally emit more carbon dioxide than a small trap, and mosquitoes may still be drawn towards them instead.

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  • Mosquito coils
    6 / 7 Mosquito coils

    – These emit repellents when burnt.

    Take note:
    – They can be a fire hazard.
    – They can produce the same amount of PM2.5 pollutants as burning 75 to 137 cigarettes.


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  • Ultrasonic mosquito repellents
    7 / 7 Ultrasonic mosquito repellents

    – These repel mosquitoes by emitting a high-pitched sound that humans cannot hear.

    Take note:
     At least 10 field studies have shown that these do not have any discernible effect.

    Related: 7 plants that repel mosquitoes naturally

    Sources: National Environment Agency (NEA), Pestbusters, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

    A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.

    (Illustrations: Straits Times graphics; main photo: 123rf.com)

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