The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a personal insect repellent or an area repellent. If you are sitting on the balcony and want to keep to mosquitoes away an area repellent may be preferable. If on the other hand you are trekking then a personal insect repellent such as a spray may be more suitable.
Area repellents such as electric or battery operated zappers are great but they do of course require power in the form of batteries or mains power. These are ideal for home use but are not so convenient when under canvas. There are miniature versions available should you wish to use a powered unit such as the Lifesystems Portable Mosquito Killer. Possibly the most popular option are smoke coils which rather than zap the bugs encourages them to go elsewhere.
If you are staying in hostels or hotels without nets then you could use your own insect net to keep them away from you whilst you sleep (just make sure you don’t let one in with you when you climb in yourself, you will only do it once trust me). They are available is several sizes, singles, doubles, stand alone, check out our Mosquito Nets department for a full range. Another great idea for hostels or hotels is a plug in repellent, these can be left running to keep the insects away whilst you are in or out of the room.
If you are outside then you are going to need a personal insect repellent. These can be as simple as a net that goes over your head and hat like the Sea to Summit Mosquito Headnet. These can be untreated (just netting) or treated with Permethrin which is a chemical used by the US military as a repellent so not only do you have a physical barrier but also a chemical deterrent too.
Chemical repellents are possibly the most common form of insect repellent. It can either be applied to clothing or skin depending on the chemical. The strongest repellents are formed using DEET it is to insects what napalm is to foliage. The stronger the DEET concentration the less likely you are to be bitten. Generally the advice is not to put DEET directly onto skin but check the instructions on your repellent for application instructions. A good example of a DEET repellent would be Lifesystems Expedition 100.
A good feature to also consider is a combined sun screen and insect repellent. Nikwax SkitoStop Sun Screen and Insect Repellent is a good choice.
Other chemical repellent options include insect repellent wrist bands such as the Design Go Bug Guards these offer up to 100 hours of continuous protection.
Some people prefer to avoid man-made chemicals and prefer something a little more natural. Most of the big health companies offer a natural option such as the Lifesystems Expedition Natural but customers are divided on how effective these natural solutions are. Certainly they are better than nothing but they are rarely as effective as DEET solution.
At the time of writing this post, our top 5 insect repellents are:
Top 5 – Best Insect Repellents based on customer feedback
- Lifesystems Midge Repellent
- Lifesystems Expedition 50
- Lifesystems Expedition 100 Plus
- Lifesystems Mosquito Smoke Coils
- Lifesystems Plug In Mosquito Killer