Mosquito spray: The Ultimate Review Guide

Top Mosquito Spray Review

Mosquito Spray With DEET

Mosquito sprayDeveloped by the U.S. Army in 1946, DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is a synthetic chemical that provides one to six-plus hours of complete protection against mosquitoes, depending on its concentration. When properly applied, mosquito spray with DEET has virtually no proven adverse health effects, though in rare cases a contact skin rash can result from exposure. The EPA has completed several comprehensive assessments of DEET over the years (most recently in 1998) and concludes that mosquito spray containing DEET do not present a health concern as long as consumers follow label directions. But DEET has some notable drawbacks. It imparts a greasy feel to the skin upon application. It emits a distinctive and to many, unpleasant odor. And it has the ability to dissolve certain plastics and some synthetic materials, including rayon, spandex, and vinyl. This is a particular hazard for sunglasses and plastic eyeglass lenses. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine compared the efficacy of DEET at different concentrations and found that the duration of complete mosquito protection ranged from one to two hours for concentrations between 5 and 10 %, four to five hours at around 20 %, and only marginally longer up to 50 %, with no improvement at higher levels. Last but not least all DEET-containing mosquito spray are effective against the mosquito Aedes aegypti, vector of Zika virus disease, Dengue fever and yellow fever.

Repel 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray, 98.11-Percent DEET, 4-OunceMosquito spray

mosquito sprayThe repel 100 mosquito spray uses a 98.1-percent deet formula to provide complete protection from mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, chiggers, no-see-ums, and biting flies. Use in areas of high infestation or prolonged periods of outdoor activity for up to 10-hour of protection. The new 4-ounce pump is large enough for high use consumers, yet small enough for easy portability.


  • Ideal for extreme environments
  • Repels mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and biting flies up to 10-hour
  • Larger size for high consumption consumer
  • 98.11-Percent DEET

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Mosquito Spray With Picaridin

Mosquito sprayCreated by Bayer in the 1980s, picaridin is a synthetic compound made to resemble the compound piperine, which occurs naturally in black pepper plants. You may see it listed as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, or icaridin. As with DEET, the EPA has concluded that the normal use of picaridin does not present a health concern. Studies have shown picaridin to be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Unlike DEET, however, picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and does not dissolve plastics or other synthetics. It has less serious side effects than DEET has. A consumer organization hast tested repellents that contain 20 % picaridin and 30 % oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-Menthane-3,8-diol). This mixture warded off mosquitoes for at least 7 hours. But the concentration is important. A mosquito spray that contained just 5 % picaridin performed worse than the 7 % DEET. Recent studies have indicated that a concentration of 7 % is equivalent to about 10 % DEET (one to two hours of protection), and a 20 % concentration offers the same protection (four to five hours) as an equivalent DEET concentration.

Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin

mosquito sprayMore effective at repelling biting flies than DEET, Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent with 20 Percent Picaridin is great for applying to skin as well clothing, outdoor gear, and more. Safe to use on the whole family, Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent Spray offers effective protection against common disease carrying nuisances like mosquitoes and ticks. Additionally, Picaridin is effective at repelling biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies. The long-lasting topical spray with 20 percent Picaridin is effective for up to 12 hours against mosquitoes and ticks (14 hours for lotion), and and both provide up to 8 hours of protection against biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies. The non-greasy spray and lotion have a pleasant low odor that evaporates when dry, and they won’t damage plastics of synthetic coatings. Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent is safe for use on clothing, backpacks, synthetic fabrics, watches, sunglasses, and more. It’s available in a 4-ounce spray bottle, airline approved 3-ounce spray bottle, easily pocketable 0.5-ounce pen spray tube, and 4-ounce lotion bottle.


  • Long-lasting topical insect repellent with 20 percent Picaridin
  • Effective up to 12 hours against mosquitoes and ticks (14 hours for lotion)
  • Up to 8 hours against biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies
  • Safe to use on the whole family; won’t harm clothing, synthetic fabrics and gears
  • Virtually odorless

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Mosquisto Repellent With Malathion

Mosquito sprayThis organophosphate is not used as a spray but I put it here because it’s a synthetic repellent as DEET and Picaridin. This repellent is often used to treat crops against a wide array of insects. It can be sprayed directly onto vegetation, such as the bushes where mosquitoes like to rest, or used in a 5 % solution to fog the yard. In the small amounts used for mosquito control, it poses no threat to humans or wildlife. In fact, malathion is also used to kill head lice.


Spectracide 60900 Malathion Insect Spray Concentrate, 16-Ounce

Mosquito spraySpectracide malathion concentrate protects your shrubs, flowers, and vegetables from damaging insects. Protect your outdoors and enjoy your shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.


  • Protects flowers, shrubs, & vegetables from damaging insects
  • Kills mosquitoes
  • Makes up to 48 gallons
  • Kills aphids, red spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, scales, whiteflies and other leaf eating insects

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Mosquito Spray With Permethrin

Mosquito sprayOne of a group of chemicals called pyrethroids, it is a synthetic form of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. It usually is mixed with oil or water and applied as a mist, about 1/100th of a pound per acre. Like malathion, permethrin kills mosquitoes by disrupting their central nervous systems. Not harmful to people and animals in small amounts, but it is toxic to fish and bees. Clothing, hats, shoes, bed nets, jackets, and camping gear can be treated with permethrin for added protection. They should not be used on skin. Don’t expect that wearing treated clothing means you don’t have to put insect repellents on exposed skin. If you are interested by mosquito repellent clothing, please take a look at our page here for the recommended repellent clothing for women and men.



Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent Trigger SprayMosquito spray

Mosquito sprayFor use on clothing, tents, and other gear, Sawyer Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent not only repels insects, it actually kill ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects on contact. Permethrin is odorless after drying and will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or any of your outdoor gear. Use it while hunting for an odorless way to protect yourself from common bugs. The active ingredient Permethrin is a synthetic molecule similar to pyrethrum which is taken from the Chrysanthemum flower. Sawyer Premium Permethrin comes in two sizes — a 12-ounce trigger spray bottle (for treating up to 2 complete outfits) and a 24-ounce trigger spray bottle (for treating up to 4 complete outfits). A single application lasts up to six washings or up to 40 days of sun exposure. Repellent should be applied outdoors and before clothing is worn; after it’s treated, hang clothing and let dry 2 hours (4 hours in humid conditions).


  • Insect-killing repellent for your clothing
  • Effective against ticks, chiggers, mites and mosquitoes for up to 6 weeks (or 6 washings)
  • As effective as 100 percent DEET
  • Will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or outdoor gear
  • Odorless after drying; ideal for use while hunting
  • 24-ounce capacity treats up to 4 complete outfits; non-aerosol pump bottle

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Best Synthetic Mosquito Repellent Review

ImageProductActive ingredientPriceRate

Repel 94108 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray, 98.11-Percent DEET, 4-Ounce
98% DEET$4.3

Sawyer Products SP544 Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin, Pump Spray, 4-Ounce
20% Picaridin$4.5

Spectracide 60900 Malathion Insect Spray Concentrate, 16-Ounce
50% Malathion$4.3

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent Trigger Spray, 12-Ounce
0.5% Permethrin$4.4
$: 0-19; $$: 20-49; $$$: 50+

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