How to choose insect repellent How to choose insect repellent

Our top tips on how to choose insect repellent

Whether you are young or old travelling to distant lands or just out to your back garden, you should be thinking about the different kinds of insect repellent that you need.

Insect bites can put a dampener on any holiday, especially the bites that leave itchiness and redness on the skin for days. Depending on where you travel, insect repellent can be a necessity as some insect bites could cause harm and illness. This is why knowing how to choose insect repellent based on your needs is so important.

How to choose insect repellent: DEET or Non-DEET 

It is important to know the difference between DEET insect repellents and Non-DEET insect repellents when choosing the right repellent for you.

What is DEET?

DEET is simply the common name for N.N-Diethyl-m-toluamide. It has been used as an effective insect repellent since it was invented in the 1940s. DEET doesn’t harm insects, rather it just deters them by blocking the neurons and receptors that insects use to locate humans.

The rule is that the higher the DEET concentration in your repellent product the longer your protection.  A product containing up to 30% DEET usually lasts for six hours, and up to 10% (recommended for kids age six months to 12 years) can last three hours.

Why do people choose to not use Non-DEET?

People with sensitive skin or babies under six months, you can use Non-DEET insect repellent that relies on natural ingredients, like eucalyptus or oil of lemon, to deter insects.

However, you need to take into account your location and level of activity before choosing a repellent.

How to choose insect repellent

How to choose insect repellent: Lotion or spray

Knowing how to choose your insect repellent goes deeper than the ingredients in the product; the application of your repellent is also very important.

Although not everyone likes the feeling of cream, it is a good source of protection as you can control where it’s going.  However, a spray can be used on both your clothes and your skin, increasing your protection.

Our top insect repellent tip is to reapply the product when necessary, (which will be written on the label), or if you have been swimming or sweating.

If you do not like to use product on their skin, there are candles and lamps that release repellent, and they do help (although avoid inhaling them). However, remember because they are only around you and not on you, they won’t do the whole job, as an application directly to your skin is always the most effective.

Travel Health

For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations and insect bite prevention.