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Mosquito Repellent Madness

Posted by SpringStar Service on

Springtime. The days are getting longer, the weather’s warming up, and here at SpringStar, everyone starts asking: Have you filled out your brackets yet? How can I protect myself from mosquitoes?

Like basketball, you need a good offense and a solid defense. With mosquitoes, you need to kill them and to keep them from biting you. For the former, we sell two traps that are highly effective against two major disease-spreading species in the southern and eastern US.

 Aedes Range

Figure 1: Ranges of Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and Ae. albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito). These mosquitoes can spread Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. Image from: 

But no matter where you live, the best way to win against mosquitoes is a strong defense. Repellents can be roughly broken into four divisions:



Traditional repellents

The powerhouses of DEET and picaridin dominate this division, which has the deepest field of effective products, but can scare off chemical-phobic consumers.

Plant-based repellents

Sometimes called “natural” repellents, this division includes synthetic and naturally-derived active ingredients, and is favored by consumers avoiding harsh chemicals.


A favorite with consumers who wish to avoid putting active ingredients on their skin.


This division includes transdermal patches as well as lotions and fragrances not marketed as repellents.


 Which we can make into brackets based off a number of studies (1, 2, 3, 4):

Mosquito Repellent Bracket

 So what’s the most effective personal repellent? In general, DEET-based repellents perform best, although oil of lemon eucalyptus can be almost as effective. Bombshell by Victoria’s Secret is the Cinderella story: not intended as an insect repellent, but more effective than nothing. Repellents in the middle of the pack are not significantly different from wearing no repellent at all, while those at the bottom will make you more likely to attract mosquitoes! In the end, the best repellent for you is one that is effective and you feel comfortable using.

Final Ranking

Repellent – Division


Repel 100 Insect Repellent – traditional


Off! Clip-On – wearable


Off! Deep Woods – traditional


Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus – plant-based


Bombshell by Victoria’s Secret – other


Herbal Armor – plant-based


Cutter Skinsations – traditional


Nothing (control)


Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin – traditional


Avon Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil – other


Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard – plant-based


Avon Skin-So-Soft Moisturizing Sunscreen – other


Cutter Natural – plant-based


Mosquito-NO! Wrist Band – wearable


Mosquito Patch – other


Sonic Insect Repeller – wearable


- Written By Alyssa Branca

1) Fradin & Day 2002
2) Revay et al. 2013
3) Rodriguez et al. 2015
4) Rodriguez et al. 2017

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