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Mosquito Repellents: A Complete Overview

Mosquito Repellents: A Complete Overview

If you’re anything like us, you love the warm sunny weather in the summer. From flip-flops and floppy hats to beach days with the kids and picnics at the park, what’s not to love about the best season of the year? 

Well, we can think of one thing — mosquitoes. 

Sure, we could complain about the humidity or how awful a second-degree sunburn can be, but when it comes to the winner (or loser) of annoyances in the summer, mosquitos take the crown. 

The biggest party crashers of the season, mosquitoes are so irritating and can put a major damper on outdoor fun. They buzz. They bite. And they can turn the perfect “schools out” party into a total bummer. 

For most of us, these winged beasts are usually nothing more than a nuisance that we simply have to deal with. As parents, we can SWAT, SMACK, or SLAP the biting bugs and move on with our grown-up days. 

Bugging Out

As for our little ones, however, mosquitoes can be quite terrifying — and it’s easy to see why. Some little kids love bugs: watching ant piles, raising caterpillars to turn into butterflies, even picking up a worm or two (just please don’t bring them inside!). But mosquitoes — no child wants to cross paths with one of those. 

What’s more, aside from their undeniable scariness, kids often experience a far worse reaction to bug bites than adults. This is because youngsters haven’t built up a natural immunity to the biting bugs just yet.

Known as skeeter syndrome, a mosquito allergy can result in extreme swelling, a whole lot of pain, and lots of tears. 

Needless to say, keeping mosquitoes far away from our tiny tots is of the utmost importance: but what’s the best way to keep them at bay?

Enter: mosquito repellents.

First invented in 1946, mosquito repellents have come a long way since their inception, with many options now available to effectively repel the little suckers.

You see, back in the day, DEET was the weapon of choice to combat mosquitoes. Why? Because it was the only option available. Today, however, options to fight back on the buzzy bothers are better (and safer) than ever.

Not sure which repellent is best to keep your tiny tot itch-free? We can help.

Read on to discover our complete overview of mosquito repellents. 

But First, Why Is It So Important To Avoid Mosquitoes Anyway? 

When you think about the deadliest creature on the planet, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?

While we certainly don’t blame you for thinking of a huge bear or massive shark as the world’s most dangerous animal, the truth is that the most harmful critter known to man is none other than — drum roll, please — the mosquito

Now, to be clear, these pests aren’t exactly the classic horror movie villain, like vampires. They certainly don’t care if you eat a clove (or 20) of garlic to send them on their way (garlic doesn’t even work on these pests!). 

You see, mosquitoes earned the title of the deadliest creature on the planet because they are responsible for more than one million deaths every single year. How can an insect cause so much destruction, you ask?

Simple — by transmitting mosquito-borne illnesses from person to person as they suck blood. Controlling these bugs is an important part of a worldwide disease control plan. 

Some of the scariest diseases that the little suckers can carry and transmit include the following:

  • Malaria
  • West Nile Virus
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika Virus
  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Lyme disease

For most individuals who get bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms are pretty mild.

They may experience:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea

If any of these symptoms suddenly appear on your child following a bug bite, make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to get checked out. 

OK — What’s Skeeter Syndrome?

In addition to mosquito-borne illnesses, we also have to keep a close eye on our kiddos in case they develop skeeter syndrome: a mosquito allergy. 

For us parents, we know firsthand what mosquito bites mean for kids. Our poor little ones go just about crazy with itching. They itch all day and all night, indoors and outdoors, and no amount of aloe lotion seems to help. (But the MagicPatch might!)

Throw skeeter syndrome into the mix, and your baby may experience extreme swelling, tenderness, and bruising that can be quite painful. 

Needless to say, whether your tiny tot has skeeter syndrome or simply can’t deal with the intense itchiness following a bug bite, keeping the buzzy bugs away is crucial for itch-free and happy days.

Prevention instead of the cure: always the easiest way to go. You can definitely change up your gear and wrangle your little one into long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks, but there are other ways to tell bugs to bug out. 

What’s The Best Way To Ward Off Mosquitoes? 

Now that you know how important it is to protect your favorite mini-human from these biting bugs, let’s dive into a few of the most popular mosquito repellents on the market, shall we?

On the menu, we have pesticides, insecticides, and something a little kinder to Mother Earth. 

DEET 

Invented by the US Army by military personnel in insect-infected areas back in the day, DEET is a synthetic insect repellent that tells hungry skeeters to buzz off loud and clear. The problem?

It’s a toxic chemical that is quickly absorbed by the body after being applied to the skin. DEET was once the top choice for military personnel and all the families in the neighborhood. Nowadays, we’re not quite so sure it was our best bet.  

At the end of the day, however, chemicals are chemicals. These active ingredients are not good for the body and often do more harm than good. With this in mind, it’s really not surprising that new research is beginning to emerge about the dangers of chemicals like DEET — especially when used on kids. In fact, there have been some recent cases of children becoming ill after using DEET. 

Not to mention that the chemical can also melt plastic and nylon. When it comes to preventing itchy bug bites, DEET is one repellent that we’re sure to skip. 

Picaridin

Picaridin hasn’t been around as long as DEET, so there isn’t too much research on this label's long-term effects. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the chemical is considered to be slightly toxic for acute dermal and ocular exposure. And while it’s not necessarily a skin irritant, this formula can cause slight to moderate eye irritation. 

In addition, a recent study found that picaridin doesn’t just repel hungry mosquitoes, but it also kills predators like salamanders that control the populations of mosquitoes... not good!

Just like DEET, picaridin is another mosquito repellent that we’re perfectly fine living without. 

In the words of Ariana Grande, “Thank you, next.”

BuzzPatch: The Natural Solution 

We know mosquitoes are bad for kids. We also know that icky chemicals like DEET and picaridin are not good for the little ones, either. So, what’s a parent to do?

Introducing BuzzPatch: the world’s #1 all-natural, non-spray shield to protect you and your family against mosquito bites! This fun sticker is scientifically formulated and tested. It is made from a blend of highly effective, all-natural essential oils that have been used for hundreds of years to repel the little suckers. Our plant-based repellent patches are made with absolutely no chemicals and are perfectly safe for kids. 

Our formulation relies on the same essential oils that make citronella candles powerful (and smelling delightful).

And the best part? Not only is BuzzPatch super simple to use (no need for instructions here!), but unlike traditional bug spray, our all-natural patches smell undeniably amazing.

Bid Goodbye to Bugs 

So, what’s the best way to ward off a swarm of hungry mosquitoes, you ask?

Simple — with BuzzPatch.

Here at The Natural Patch Co., we are a wellness company devoted to helping make parents’ lives just a little bit easier. We designed our all-natural repellent patches to emit a powerful scent that creates a virtual shield around your kids to hide them from the biting insect’s senses. 

Made with you and your kids in mind, BuzzPatch is pure magic containing no chemicals, no toxins, and no icky ingredients. Our patches come in a resealable pack to keep the freshness in and can last you six itch-free months.  

Ready to send the pesky little pests packin’? Arm your tiny tots with BuzzPatch — a sticker a day to keep the mosquitoes away!

 

Sources:

Buzz... Swat: Mosquito Repellents | Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

Fighting the World's Deadliest Animal | CDC

Mosquito-Borne Diseases (for Parents) | Kids Health - Nemours Kidshealth

Insect Repellents | UOFM Health

Picaridin Technical Fact Sheet | NPIC

Widely used mosquito repellent proves lethal to larval salamanders | Cary Institute

Is DEET Bad for You (and Your Kids)? | Cleveland Health