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UF/IFAS research-based mosquito repellant recommendations for increased public safety

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Homemade do-it-yourself remedies found online and circulated on social media should be regarded with cautious skepticism unless there is UF-based research supporting the product, according to researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

For example, there is no scientific evidence that eating garlic, vitamins, onions or any other food will make a person less attractive to host-seeking mosquitoes, UF/IFAS experts said.

UF/IFAS conducts research and extension on mosquito repellents, said Ken Gioeli, program Extension agent for natural resources and the environment for UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County.

The best mosquito repellents are those that provide protection from bites for at least one hour after a single application. Researchers tested and evaluated the effectiveness of mosquito repellents based on the amount of time the product will continue to repel mosquitoes after one application to the skin. This is known as Complete Protection Time (CPT).  As always, people should read and follow the product label directions.

 

Products Active Ingredient Average Complete Protection Time
OFF! Deep Woods 23.8% DEET 5 hours
Sawyer Controlled Release 20% DEET 4 hours
OFF! Skintastic 6.65% DEET 2 hours
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus

Insect Repellent

Oil of lemon eucalyptus; p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD) 2 hours
Bite Blocker for Kids 2% Soybean Oil 1.5 hours
OFF! Skintastic for Kids 4.75% DEET 1.5 hours
Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus 7.5% IR3535 23 minutes
Natrapel 10% Citronella 20 minutes
Herbal Armor 12% Citronella; 2.5% peppermint oil; 2% cedar oil; 1% lemongrass oil; 0.05% geranium oil 19 minutes
Green Ban for People 10% Citronella; 2% peppermint oil 14 minutes
Buzz Away 5% Citronella 14 minutes
Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard 0.1% Citronella 10 minutes
Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil Active Ingredient not known 10 minutes
Skin-So-Soft Moisturizing Suncare 0.05% Citronella 3 minutes
Gone Original Wristband 9.5% DEET 0
Repello Wristband 9.5% DEET 0
Gone Plus Repelling Wristband 25% Citronella 0

For additional information about mosquito repellents, please refer to the UF/IFAS EDIS Mosquito Repellent publication online at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in419 or contact the UF/IFAS St Lucie County Extension at 772-462-1660.

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Source: Ken Gioeli, 772-216-1000, ktgioeli@ufl.edu