Mosquito avoidance

There are a number of measures that people can use to avoid contact with mosquitoes in homes or other buildings:

If you must enter mosquito habitat, for work or pleasure; dusk and dawn are the worst periods. Your warm body and breath stands out against the dark and still surroundings. Mosquitoes are attracted to exhaled CO2, infrared radiation and certain chemicals and fragrances. They are also repelled by certain chemicals and fragrances.


Apply to




May be used with sunscreens.
May be used on infants over 2 months old.
The percentage of the active ingredient does not make the repellent stronger, but effects the length of time it remains effective.

  • 23.8%--5 hours
  • 20%--4 hours
  • 6.65%--2 hours
  • 4.75%--1 1/2 hour

(Actual protection time may vary according to temperature, perspiration, and water exposure)

 (KBR 3023)
(“Bayrepal”  outside of US)

*Recommended as most effective by CDC.


No guidelines have been issued regarding pediatric use.
Is as effective as DEET.
May not be approved for use in all states yet.
To date, only a 7% concentration is available in the US (marketed as Cutter Advanced), effective for only about 2 hours.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus
(p-menthane 3,8-diol [PMD])


Is as effective as products with low levels of DEET, effective for 1-2 hours only.
Has not been tested against malaria mosquito or other insects found internationally.
Not for use on children under 3 years of age.


Bed net
Camping gear

Some gear comes pre-treated.
Repels and kills mosquitoes, ticks and other insects and retains effects after repeated washings.


The EPA recommends the following precautions when using insect repellents:
  •   Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label.)
  •   Do not use repellents under clothing.
  •   Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  •   Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply  sparingly around ears.
  •   When using sprays, do not spray directly on face—spray on hands first and then apply to face.
  •   Do not allow children to handle the product.
  •   When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child.
  •   You may not want to apply to children’s hands if they are very young or tend to put their hands in their mouths.
  •   Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing.
  •   Heavy application and saturation are generally unnecessary for effectiveness. If biting insects do not respond to a thin film of repellent, then apply a bit more.
  •   After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days. Also, wash treated clothing before wearing it again. (This precaution may vary with different repellents—check the product label.)
  •   If you or your child get a rash or other bad reaction from an insect repellent, stop using the repellent, wash the repellent off with mild soap and water, and call a local poison control center for further guidance. If you go to a doctor because of the repellent, take the repellent with you to show the doctor.

Which of the following selections is an appropriate choice to avoid mosquito contact.
Heavy application of repellent is usually unnecessary.
Apply repellent under clothing.
Apply repellent lightly around eyes and mouth.
Approved repellents may be safely applied by young children.