Insect repellant guidelines.
1. The ingredients proven the most effective and with the longest history of safety is Deet. Picardin has been studied for 15 years and has proven to be safe and is less irritating especially to children with sensitive skin. Oil of Eucalyptus has proven to be moderately effective as well.
2. Children under 2 months of age should not receive any topical insect repellant. Oil of Eucalyptus should not be used on any children under 2 years of age due to the concerns regarding possible eye irritation.
3. Apply it to your hands and then rub them on your child. Do not spray it anywhere near a child to avoid inhalation of fumes.
4. Do not apply it to a child’s hand, they may put them in their mouth.
5. Adults should do the applying for young children.
6. Apply to clothing first and foremost to avoid unnecessary skin irritation. Do not apply it under clothing.
7. Apply sunscreen first before adding insect repellant.
8. Sunscreen and insect repellant mixture is absorbed in a higher degree and not recommended.
9. The percentage of each ingredient correlates to the time spent outdoors. !0 % is usually sufficient.
10. There has been no reported serious illness regarding the use of these ingredients in children.
11. Natural products that have proven moderately successful include Avon “Skin so Soft”, California Baby, and Burt Bees. And some essential oils tend to be helpful including lemongrass and rosemary.
12. Remember to reapply according to the instructions on the package .
13. Pay attention to any skin irritation in areas where you apply the repellant.
Deet products are the highest rated-for most effective by consumer reports. I tend to add smell and feel to the list of important criteria in selecting an insect repellant.
Consumer reports ranked Deep woods Off, Cutter Backwoods, and Off family care the most effective at 98% with Cutter Backwoods unscented and Off Family care smooth and dry much more tolerable for feel and smell to me. They all last up to 8 hours and keep mosquitoes away well.
Picardin- the product I use the most has a similar effectiveness. I tend to use the lower percentage of products by Off and Cutter advanced which contain 5-7 % Picardin. These two products have worked well for me in Florida as well as while hiking in Mosquito infested areas. Consumer reports ranked Natrapel which has 20% Picardin very highly at 97 %.
Avon skin so soft has a smell and feel that I have never been happy with. It is ranked as more effective than organic products at 73%.
Lemon Eucalyptus- ( Repel ) works well but the smell is generally intolerable to others. In my experiment I had to walk and jog by myself by at least 10 feet due to the annoying smell to other people in my party. This is not recommended for children under 2.
Organic products- based on plant oils generally are considerably less effective as a group .Bite Blocker had a 56 % rating and Burt’s Bees had a 24 % rating compared to the recommended products effectiveness by Consumer reports.
Off " clip on repellant"- the off "fan" that clips on and distributes a fine mist of repellant by fan is moderately effective if you are still for long periods of time. It is not nearly as effective if you are moving or walking. There is a warning on it to not breathe in the fumes, which is not really possible especially for children. In addition to these findings by Consumer Reports it tends to not last nearly as long as it states on the package. I have used it for sitting in the backyard and it helps keep the mosquitoes away, but I would not recommend it for small children.