The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of certain products containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing. EPA registration of repellent active ingredients indicates the materials have been reviewed and approved for efficacy and human safety when applied according instructions on thelabel.
CDC evaluation of information contained in peer-reviewed scientific literature and data available from EPA has identified several EPA registered products that provide repellent activity sufficient to help people avoid the bites of disease carrying mosquitoes. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide reasonable long-lasting protection:
DEET (Chemical Name : N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide)
Picaridin (KBR 3023,Chemical Name : 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester)
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus* or PMD.(Chemical Name” paraMenthane-3,8diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus
IR 3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)
In general, higher concentrations of an active ingredient provide longer durations of protection, regardless of the active ingredient. Note that concentrations above ~ 50% do not offer a marked increase in protection time. Products with <10% active ingredients may offer only limited protection, often from one to two hours. Products that offer sustained release or controlled release (micro- encapsulated) formulations, even with lower active ingredient concentrations, may provide longer protection times. Regardless of what product you use, if you start to get mosquito bites reapply the repellent according to the label instructions or remove yourself from the area with biting insects, if possible.
*Note: this recommendation refers to EPA registered repellent products containing the active ingredient oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD). Pure oil of lemon eucalyptus (e.g. essential oil) has not received similar validated testing for safety and efficacy, is not registered with EPA as an insect repellent, and is not covered by this CDC recommendation.