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Insect Repellents

Choosing an Insect Repellent

Below is a chart from the June 2016 issue of Contemporary Pediatrics listing insect repellent products.  Some are DEET-based.  Others are Picaridin- or herbal-based.  The chart lists recommended products based on Consumer Reports ratings in conjunction with pediatric expert opinion.  This list is not meant to serve as an advertisement or recommendation for any one particular product.  Please use it as a reference for available products and their ingredients.  When selecting a product, be aware of the following:

  1. Length of effectiveness is dependent on the ingredients. Please follow the recommendations on the packaging for how often to reapply.
  2. The higher the DEET percentage the less often you need to reapply. But there is no additional benefit for products with DEET > 30%.
  3. Non-DEET products typically have a duration similar to that of 10% DEET products, typically 2-3 hours max.
  4. We recommend applying products to clothing and exposed skin only, not to the entire body.

Additional information about insect repellents can be found on the American Academy of Pediatrics Insect Repellent page, as well as a list of products that are not effective insect repellents.