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The Best Mosquito Repellent - 2021

Last updated on May 28, 2021

We looked at the top 6 Mosquito Repellents and dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Mosquito Repellents.

Best Mosquito Repellent

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Our Picks For The Top Mosquito Repellents

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best All-Around Pick

OFF! FamilyCare Unscented Insect Repellent IV

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OFF!

FamilyCare Unscented Insect Repellent IV

Overall Take

Dry and Scentless This product is a reliable choice, great for picnics or a trip to the park.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus The Spruce. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Pros
" This aerosol spray from OFF! is a popular pick thanks to its non-greasy formula which is safe for use on the whole family, including young children."
  Runner Up

REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

REPEL

Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect lent

Overall Take

DEET-Free; Non-AerosolIf you’re concerned about the effects of long-term or high-concentration exposure to DEET, this is an effective and safe alternative.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, The New York Times, Mosquito Reviews, The Spruce, CNN underscored. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Target and Home Depot.
Pros
" Made with oil of lemon eucalyptus to provide DEET free protection for up to six hours. Has refreshing botanical scent that does not smell like chemicals. Not greasy or sticky. Spray is easy to apply"
Cons
"We made the mistake of giving it a single squirt in a closed room, and we could still smell it an hour later. We found it to be even more unpleasant when it was on our arms."
  We Also Like

Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

Murphy's Naturals

Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

Overall Take

Long-Burning; Natural OilsThis incense is perfectly suited to an afternoon on the porch and for relief during cookouts.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus House Beautiful, Home Fixated, Today. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Murphy's Mosquito Sticks, as well as their entire line of products, are eco-friendly— I stan a sustainable alternative to bug repellents."
Cons
"However, I found out that it’s a good idea to put the incense sticks upwind of the area you’re trying to protect from the bugs."
  Best Bracelets

Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, 10-Pack

Cliganic

Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, 10-Pack

Overall Take

No Spray or Smoke Enjoy up to 200 hours of bite-free outdoor activity with no mess or fuss.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus New York Mag, Pest Strategies, Bustle. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" I wondered just how much localized essential oils could protect me? Then hours passed without a single bite. I was able to work diligently without needing to flail my arms around."
Cons
"Our recommendation would be to at least wear one on each wrist AND lightly apply a mosquito repellent elsewhere on your body to ensure you're covered."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
13

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the mosquito repellents available to purchase.
6

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

15

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: The New York Times, CNN underscored, Road Affair, New York Mag, Pest Strategies.

274,458

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 6 Mosquito Repellents and also dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Mosquito Repellents.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

OFF! FamilyCare Unscented Insect Repellent IV


Our Expert Score

0.0
1 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
6,729 user reviews

Our Take

This two-pack of spray-on insect deterrent contains 7% DEET, the most common ingredient in mosquito repellent. This dries cleanly, without leaving any greasy remnants or lingering chemical smell.

What other experts liked

This aerosol spray from OFF! is a popular pick thanks to its non-greasy formula which is safe for use on the whole family, including young children.
- The Spruce

What other experts didn't like

The biggest complaint is the noticeable ‘bug spray odor’ from this product, but it’s a minor nuisance for most people considering its smooth, dry formula and long-lasting effectiveness against insects.
- The Spruce

Overall Product Rankings

OFF! FamilyCare Unscented Insect Repellent IV

1. OFF! FamilyCare Unscented Insect Repellent IV

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 6

REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

2. REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 9

Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

3. Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 7

Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, 10-Pack

4. Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, 10-Pack

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 6

Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller

5. Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

OFF! Deep Woods DryTouch Insect & Mosquito Repellent VIII

6. OFF! Deep Woods DryTouch Insect & Mosquito Repellent VIII

Overall Score: 6.5
Reviews Included: 7

Our Mosquito Repellent Findings


OFF! FamilyCare Unscented Insect Repellent IV

What We Liked: This two-pack of spray-on insect deterrent contains 7% DEET, the most common ingredient in mosquito repellent. This dries cleanly, without leaving any greasy remnants or lingering chemical smell.


REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

What We Liked: Lemon eucalyptus oil is the only plant-based active ingredient approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in insect repellent to prevent mosquito-carried diseases. The refreshing scent and six-hour duration make this insect repellent a pleasant alternative to DEET-based sprays.


Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks

What We Liked: This is a DEET-free option that covers 12 square feet at a time. It boasts a pleasantly scented protection from biting insects. These incense sticks last more two hours per stick, so you can reclaim the outdoors from flying pests.


Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, 10-Pack

What We Liked: This product includes 10 individually packaged bands, all saturated with natural oils. They deter biting insects and pests from landing on you. The individual packages can be resealed, to preserve these bands for later use.


Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller

What We Liked: This product offers odorless, smokeless and DEET-less area control, deterring and repelling mosquitos over 7 feet in every direction from the device. By heating a mat saturated with natural oils and d-Allethrin, then fanning this vapor into the area, you’ll clear out the mosquitos without a face full of smoke or chemicals.

Our Mosquito Repellent Buying Guide

In many places, mosquitoes are a fact of life in the summer months. Whether you just want to escape pesky bites in your backyard or are avoiding vector-borne diseases such as West Nile and Lyme disease in the great outdoors, a good mosquito repellent will keep you and your family covered.

When choosing between different ingredients and the various methods of application — from lotions to sprays to bracelets — the options for insect repellent can be overwhelming.

Sprays and lotions are assured to stick with you, and they are effective. Many dry well and won’t leave behind a residue, but some can leave you feeling sticky in the summer heat.

DEET and picaridin sprays and lotions have proven efficacy against mosquitoes and ticks. If these are a concern — or if you’re traveling to an area where you could be exposed to malaria or other vector-borne diseases — these chemicals provide a long-lasting way to avoid bites. However, while DEET and picaridin are really effective when you need protection, you might want a lighter repellent for other times.

Essential oil-based sprays provide some protection, but they’re usually not as long-lasting as chemical options.

Incense is a classic repellent choice for patios and decks, and the smell of citrus and herbs can be pleasant. However, being surrounded by smoke isn’t always enjoyable, and this sort of repellent is only effective in the immediate area.

Wristbands are designed to work similar to perfume. By remaining in contact with your skin, the oils and smells are absorbed into your bloodstream in small amounts and distributed throughout the rest of your body, where you sweat them out.

It’s best to find the delivery method and ingredients you’re most comfortable with, and that suit your needs.

DWYM Fun Fact

The Federal Food and Drug Administration only regulates substances that can be harmful by their very nature, so many essential oils are not regulated. This means that although they may be effective as insect repellents, there have simply not been enough scientific studies to confirm or deny the claims.

There is an exception to this rule, however. Lemon eucalyptus oil is classified as a biopesticide, and as such has been more widely studied and certified as effective. It was first classified as a biopesticide in 2000, so many bug repellents available now contain this oil.

The Mosquito Repellent Tips and Advice

  • DEET has been studied widely and is believed to be safe and most effective at levels between 30% and 45%, but it can be hard to find sprays in that exact concentration range.
  • Be careful when applying DEET or handling items with the spray on your hands. It will melt certain plastics and synthetic fabrics, sometimes permanently softening them.
  • Lemon eucalyptus has been proven to be effective in concentrations between 30% and 50%, but again, the trick is finding those concentrations on the market.
  • There have been a few allergic reactions recorded to lemon eucalyptus repellent, but the odds of this happening are low.
  • Picaridin is a chemical derived from pepper plants. Sprays of 20% concentration can be effective against mosquitoes, ticks and flies. Unlike DEET, picaridin won’t break down certain materials, so it’s safe to spray on clothing. As with all of these options, keep this repellent away from your eyes and mouth.
  • Botanicals such as peppermint, lavender and lemons have been used for centuries as insect deterrents, but modern studies don’t often rate them as highly as alternatives.

About The Author

Avatar
Danielle Smyth 

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketing expert based in New York. She has been writing on business and finance, home and garden, DIY, travel and tourism, and a variety of other topics for over a decade, and she holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. Danielle loves working on product reviews and helping others find the highest quality items and the best values. An avid gardener and home improvement fanatic, she is always looking for new products to make life easier.