Insect Repellents

Choosing an Insect Repellent

There are so many options that selecting one is often intimidating.  Some repellents are DEET-based.  Others are Picaridin- or herbal-based.  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. They also provide an overview of products that are not effective insect repellents.