When used as directed, insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites and the diseases mosquitoes can spread.
It’s important that you use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below.
- DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
- IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
EPA-registered insect repellents – when used correctly – are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Visit the EPA website for help finding the repellent that’s right for you.
Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Always follow the product label instructions.
- Reapply insect repellent as directed.
- Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
For Babies and Children
- Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
- Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
- Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
- Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
Visit the EPA website to learn more. You can also find more information about preventing mosquito bites at the DHEC website and the CDC website.