Mosquito Repellents

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mosquito repellents can help prevent mosquito bites and the diseases they carry. Dr. Edward Hill discusses various mosquito repellents and their effectiveness in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

There are many types of mosquito repellents on the market and their effectiveness varies widely.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus has been tested against mosquitoes found in the U.S. and provides a moderate level of protection suitable for short exposures in areas where mosquitoes are not severe. Oil of eucalyptus is dangerous or fatal if swallowed, so it is not recommended for children, and adults should follow package warnings carefully.

Repellents containing citronella, basil, garlic, peppermint or other herbal extracts are less effective than oil of lemon eucalyptus but can provide limited protection for short periods of time.

Conventional repellents remain the most effective and safe choice for long-lasting mosquito protection. DEET at concentrations of 10 to 50 percent is highly effective even in severe mosquito conditions. Pemethrin is an effective and very long-lasting repellent applied to clothing and equipment but is not for use on the skin. IR-3535 provides long-lasting protection for those seeking a non-DEET product.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.