Insect repellents help people avoid both mosquito and tick bites. This helps prevent illnesses carried by mosquitoes and ticks. Use repellents that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These products have been evaluated for their safety and effectiveness. Look for the EPA-registration number on the label. The length of protection varies with the type of active ingredient, air temperature, amount of physical activity and perspiration, water exposure and other factors. Reapply repellents as directed on the label.
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Choose Safe and Effective Insect Repellent
Most of the EPA-registered mosquito repellent products contain one of the following ingredients: DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR3535. These products are safe when used carefully following the directions on the label. Each of these ingredients has been registered with the EPA. EPA registration of repellent active ingredients means that the ingredients have been reviewed and approved for effectiveness and human safety when applied according to the instructions on the label. There are other repellent products that can be applied directly to skin. These provide some protection from mosquito bites, but may not offer the same level of protection or last as long as the products listed.
Repellents for use on clothing:
Permethrin on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear repels mosquitoes and other insects, and maintains this effect after laundering. This may be a good choice for people who spend a lot of time outside.
Products containing DEET can also be used on clothing.
Use the Interactive Insect Repellent Tool