Mosquito Repellents

Mosquito Close Up

Basic Information

Mosquito repellents are available as aerosols, creams, lotions, and sticks. Protection generally lasts a few hours, after which time reapplication is necessary.


Citronella oil is commonly used in candles, torches and mosquito coils and produces mosquito-repelling smoke. In outdoor conditions with calm winds, citronella can be an effective repellent. However, citronella is not as effective as mosquito repellents applied directly to clothing or skin.

Control Methods

Apply mosquito repellents in moderation and only to exposed skin or clothing. Mosquito repellents should never come into contact with the eyes or mouth and should not be ingested under any circumstances. Do not use mosquito repellents on or near open wounds and irritated skin. Use caution applying repellants to small children. Pregnant women should consult a doctor prior to use.

Challenges of Control

Mosquito repellents can be effective at temporarily keeping mosquitoes away. The challenges are that it only provides a temporary relief and mosquitoes are not always repelled. Studies have found that some mosquitoes can ignore repellents over time and exposure. Repellents also begin to lose their effectiveness after being applied, which requires periodic reapplication if remaining outdoors.

The most effective way to combat mosquitoes are repellents when used in conjunction with a mosquito control program. Consult a pest control professional who is armed with the tools and knowledge to develop a plan to significantly decrease breeding sources and adult mosquito populations.


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