In this analysis we deal with the spray version and derivatives. Of those selected, we opted in the first place for the Sawyer Premium insect repellent because of its great efficacy, which allows it to be used with guarantees even in tropical climates.
Our favorite spray repellent Sawyer is very effective and the bottle is designed to make it easy to apply evenly on our skin. It doesn’t overspray and it’s secure to prevent from leaking. It’s perfect to carry in our backpack.
Contains 20% concentration of picaridin, a repellent chemical that’s as effective as DEET but without the drawbacks of any EPA-approved repellent.
Once we apply it to our skin this repellent has minimal odor and it’s not oily. After it dries the skin doesn’t feel uncomfortable only a slight tackiness sensation that goes away after some time.
A good option to carry in your pocket
These individual-wrapped wipes are water-based, without a fragance, that are very effective. Use 30% DEET formula, which is the minimum recommended against mosquito bites and other harmful biting insects.
This wipes are perfect for hiking, activities outdoors or travelling. You can keep them in your pocket or backpack.
Why do they itch?
First of all, it is a common misconception that it is not the mosquitoes that bite, but their females.
They do it, obviously, to suck the blood of humans, but not to feed but to produce their eggs.
In fact, the male feeds on plant juices. When biting, he injects his saliva into the skin which causes inflammation around the bite or much more in the case of allergies.
Why some more than others?
From scientific studies we can draw some concrete conclusions about the female mosquito’s appetite. Here are some of them:
- They are more 0-blooded than A-blooded.
- Those who drink alcohol, especially beer, are propitiatory victims.
- Smells are important attractors with special propensity to sweat.
- They are also attracted to the smell and sweat generated by hormonal changes in pregnant women.
- Regarding the color of clothing, dark clothing carries a higher risk of being bitten.
What is a repellent made of?
Let’s start with a brief definition of repellent, understood as a spray or cream product made with compounds that try to prevent bites.
The composition is a combination of different varieties such as eucalyptus essential oil or basil and other vegetable derivatives.
The most common ingredient is DEET, which began to be developed by the U.S. Army in World War II to avoid the problems encountered by its soldiers in the jungle, but did not become effective until the Vietnam War.
It is basically a pesticide that involves certain risks if not used properly. Thus, this yellowish liquid should not be poured on wounds, it can irritate the skin and cause very unpleasant reactions in some people.
Other ingredients that these sprays or creams may contain are icaridin or nepetalactone.
When to use it?
In general, it is more effective to spray at dusk or so, when mosquitoes start to be more unruly.
Since when night falls their attacks intensify, it would be more appropriate, in general, to use it around eight o’clock in the evening.
What are the different types?
In this analysis we refer only to those for cutaneous use. Among them we distinguish the following.
- Spray: The most common format, the most economical and, in general, the one that always gives the best results, with occasional exceptions.
- Gel: It is designed to be applied to specific areas of the body that are very susceptible to these insects, such as elbows or feet.
- In oil: It is specially designed for dry skin and, as in the case of the gel, rather than to be sprayed more widely as in the case of the spray, it is more specific for certain areas.
Things to consider
- Duration of protection: One of the most important aspects and also one of the most variable since there are no fixed times. In any case, let’s say that the most effective ones can keep their properties for a whole day.
- Size: Of course, this factor is closely linked to the number of people who will need it. If you go out at night with your family for dinner at a beach area or near wetlands, it will have to be large. In any case, it should not be forgotten that these products have an expiration date and, therefore, it is necessary to fine-tune their use.
- Age of the user: This factor sets a clear distinction at 2 years. Repellents must be totally natural and only after that age can they include chemical substances.
- Climatology: Although we believe that with the high temperatures that Spain reaches in summer it would be advisable to use very intense repellents, nothing could be further from the truth. More than 40% DEET would be very exaggerated, at least in normal conditions without ‘guests’ such as the tiger mosquito. It should not be forgotten that these compounds are suitable for tropical climates with a certain risk of a bite turning into something more serious.
- Aroma: Obviously, the better it smells the better. There are brands that would be impossible to distinguish from bath colognes.
- Antiseptic effect: It is highly recommended to get a repellent with antiseptic effect so that the bites do not get infected when we scratch more often than it is convenient. That is to say, very often.
As in the case of diseases, prevention is very important with mosquitoes. There are complementary measures of proven effectiveness:
- To place mosquito nets: Of a total effectiveness.
- Avoid certain smells: As far as possible, do not resort to sweet fragrances since it has been demonstrated that they awaken the interest of mosquitoes.
- Clothing: Better light colors and long sleeves, even if it is a little warmer. In the case of colors, the reason is that they reflect more light and mosquitoes are bothered by them.
- Water stagnation: To avoid totally since these insects use the smallest puddle to reproduce.