In the market we can find several types of insect repellents, such as chemical repellents, which have synthetic components and those that are composed of plant derivatives, also known as natural repellents. We’ll go over the basic types of repellents, but you can get more information here about natural repellents.
- DEET: It is the most efficient chemical of all, it is frequently used to keep mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, gnats and horseflies away. We can buy it in any supermarket. It should be added that the chemical compositions of the content are in percentage concentrations and there the degree of effectiveness can be measured. We can usually find repellents from 10% to 40% in all competing brands. Dermatologists and pediatricians are advised to avoid applying this to children under 2 years old. It is only for external use and its ingestion can cause death.
- 1-piperidinecarboxylic acid: Offers similar results to DEET, and is well tolerated by the skin in each application. It is presented to the market in concentrations of 10% and 20%. Its effect of duration on the skin is of 8 hours against the insect bite in concentrations of 20%.
- Permethrin: This product of synthetic composition only works as an insecticide for external use only for application in clothing, footwear and fabrics. It is not suitable for skin contact, because its high chemical components can cause allergy and other skin disorders.
- Citronella oil: It is obtained from the Cymbopogon nardus plant. There are people who prefer this type of repellent as they are less toxic than chemicals, but the duration of their effectiveness is less than chemical repellents. In several countries in Europe and Latin America you can find Citronella Oil presented as lotion, spray and wipes with fairly low concentrations ranging from 0.05% to 15%.
- Eucalyptus oils: As its name says, it comes from the eucalyptus plant. It has a pleasant smell and its effectiveness is proportional to the extent of application to the skin. It lasts 6 hours.