Insect repellents

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Insect repellents contain a product that repels insects, without killing them.

All the recommended products listed below are effective against mosquitoes, the Phlebotomus (sandfly) and the Simulii (midges). However, these products are only moderately effective against fleas and ticks.

The use of repellents should always be combined with other mosquito-repellent measures.

How to use?

Apply on all non-covered areas of the body, but avoid contact with the mucous membranes (eyes, mouth), wounds, eczema patches or severe sunburn.

Do not skip any single spot of your body, because the product is only effective on the area where it has been applied.

Wash your hands after use.

Do not apply the product on children’s hands and store out of reach of children.

The use of repellents for young children and pregnant women is only recommended if other mosquito-repellent measures cannot be implemented adequately.

You can rinse the product off when you are in a mosquito-free room. This is particularly useful for pregnant women and young children.

Some repellents can also be applied on clothing, but the effect is very limited. Clothing that has been impregnated with an insecticide (permethrin) is effective, but may not be used for children.  This can be combined with repellents on bare skin

Which products are recommended?

Products that are not recommended, because they offer inadequate protection

  • Pure essential oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Products containing plant-derived substances, such as citronella
  • Bracelets with insect repellents
  • Devices that emit (ultra-)sound
  • Vitamin B1 

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