Are you fed up with the annoying mosquitoes and the itchy welts they cause?
You have probably tried repellent sprays and lotions to keep them away. While sprays and lotions work, you may find them a little messy to apply, and it’s challenging to apply successfully to your face without getting too near your eyes.
Mosquito wipes are a convenient alternative. They provide a handy way to apply insect repellent on any exposed skin and are easy to use on your face without getting the repellent in your eyes. They are particularly useful if you’re applying insect repellent to young children.
There are a number of mosquito wipes available, but how do you choose the best product for your needs? Find out in this post.
What Are Mosquito Wipes?
Mosquito wipes are towelettes that contain a bug repellent. They provide an easy way to apply bug repellent to the skin. Many wipes contain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-recommended repellents, DEET or picaridin, and there are also natural alternatives that use essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass, or rosemary.
Natural products may repel mosquitoes, but their repellent effect wears off faster than DEET or picaridin-based repellents. Hence, they will need to be applied more often.
How Do Mosquito Wipes Work?
Mosquito wipes are imbibed with bug repellent and when passed over your skin they leave insect repellent on your skin. They’re an alternative to the lotion or spray repellents that you may be more familiar with.
Mosquitoes are attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale, our body heat, and skin odors. They may also use some visual clues such as movement to find a host.
Mosquito repellents affect the mosquitoes’ sense of smell and their capacity to taste with their feet when they land on a person. Yes, they taste your skin with their legs as they look for a good place to bite.
While the many different ingredients used in mosquito wipes work well, you may have personal preferences. You may find that some leave an oily or sticky residue on your skin, while others have a strong odor that can be annoying after a time.
How To Choose Your Mosquito Repellent Wipes
There are a few considerations to bear in mind:
- How long are you likely to be outdoors?
- Do you need a sweatproof or waterproof repellent?
- How severe is the infestation?
- Are mosquitoes vectors of diseases in the area?
Typically the higher the percentage of the active ingredient, the longer the repellent will be effective. But different active ingredients will work for various lengths of time.
For example, 20% DEET will protect for 4 hours and 30% DEET provides protection for 6 hours. 5% picaridin will protect for 3-4 hours, 10% Para-menthane-diol 2 hours of protection, or 30% Oil of lemon eucalyptus 6 hours of protection.
Some good long-lasting mosquito repellent wipes are :
|Active Ingredient||Protection Time|
|Repel Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes||30% DEET||8 hours|
|Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Towelettes||10% Picaridin||8 hours|
|Ben’s Mosquito, Tick, and Insect Repellent Wipes||30% DEET||8 hours|
Short Time Protection Wipes
If you only need protection for a short time, an hour or two, then a natural repellent wipe with essential oils may be adequate such as Quantum Health Buzz Away Extreme towelettes.
Otherwise, you can use wipes with a low percentage of EPA registered active ingredients. These wipes may be nicer to use, especially around the face and on children.
Some examples of wipes that give short-time protection are
|Active Ingredient||Protection Time|
|Cutter All Family Mosquito Wipes||7.5% DEET||2 hours|
|OFF! Botanicals Towelettes||8% PMD||2 hours|
|Aunt Fannie’s Mosquito Repellent Wipes||Essential oils||up to 4 hours|
Water or Sweat Resistant Wipes
If you are hiking or playing a sport, you will need a wipe that is sweat-resistant. If not, the repellent will be washed away.
Some wipes are sweat or water-resistant. These are available with DEET, picaridin, or 100% natural.
A few examples are:
|Water Resistant and Sweat Resistant Wipes||Active Ingredient||Protection Time|
|BugX30 Insect Repellent Towelettes||30% DEET||7 hours|
|Sweat Resistant Wipes|
|OFF! DEEP WOODS Towelettes||25% DEET||up to 8 hours|
|La Fresh Natural Mosquito Repellent Wipes||Peppermint Oil|
Severe Infestation or Mosquito Vectors of Disease
In an area with a severe infestation or where mosquitoes are vectors of diseases such as dengue, Zika virus, or West Nile virus, an EPA registered repellent (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, IR3535, or 2-undecanone) is highly recommended.
What Are the Active Ingredients of Mosquito Wipes?
There are a variety of ingredients used in mosquito wipes. Choosing the best active ingredient for you or your activity can help you stay bite-free.
DEET has been used since the late1940s and is very effective at stopping mosquito bites. The mosquitoes may land on your skin, but they will taste the DEET with their feet and fly off without biting you. A small gap in the application of the DEET repellent can be sufficient to allow a mosquito to bite you.
DEET has some drawbacks – it may give a greasy/sticky feel to your skin and has an odor that some find unpleasant. Also, it can cause damage to some plastics and synthetic materials.
Using picaridin wipes has about the same efficacy as DEET. However, picaridin wipes seem to stop the mosquitoes from even landing on you. The picaridin forms a vapor barrier just above the skin that deters mosquitoes from landing.
Many people prefer picaridin as it’s almost odorless, non-greasy, and can be used on plastics and synthetic materials.
Para-menthane-diol (PMD) is an insect repellent used in mosquito wipes, lotions, and sprays. PMD occurs naturally, in small quantities, in lemon eucalyptus plants. It can either be extracted from the leaves of eucalyptus plants or chemically synthesized. PMD is registered with the EPA.
The wipes containing PMD are effective for about 2 hours and should not be used on children under three years old.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is another repellent used in wipes registered with the EPA as safe and effective. It shouldn’t be used on children under three years old.
OLE isn’t the same as lemon eucalyptus essential oil. The CDC doesn’t recommend eucalyptus essential oil as a repellent as it has not undergone testing for safety and effectiveness. There don’t seem to be many companies that use OLE in wipes.
Natural or plant-based
Natural or plant-based mosquito repellent wipes can also be used to protect you from biting insects. These wipes are often made from blends of essential oils, including citronella, geranium, lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, and rosemary.
Natural, chemical-free insect repellent wipes are often biodegradable, which means they can be composted.
These wipes may be effective but have to be reapplied more regularly. The EPA hasn’t evaluated their efficacity.
People often assume that natural repellents are safer than DEET. But they haven’t undergone the rigorous testing of DEET, which has been in use since 1946. Millions of people use DEET every year with very few reported adverse effects.
Some examples of planted-based mosquito repellent wipes that use essential oils as the active ingredient are: Murphy’s Naturals, Babyganics Natural insect repellent wipes, and Aunt Fannie’s mosquito repellent wipes.
However, if you are going to a region where mosquito-transmitted diseases are present, you are strongly recommended to use mosquito wipes or repellents registered with the EPA. These products have undergone testing for safety and effectiveness.
Why Use Mosquito Repellent Wipes?
Mosquito repellent wipes are an easy way to apply insect repellent to your skin. They provide a mess-free application and can be more easily applied to sensitive areas like the face when compared to sprays or creams. This is especially true for small children who are less likely to ingest, inhale or get the product in their eyes.
Convenient for travel, wipes can easily be put in a suitcase or a rucksack without taking up much space. Many wipes are wrapped individually, which means you can put one or two wipes in your backpack or bag.
Wipes can provide a simple way to apply repellent for complete protection with no gaps. Any break in the repellent coverage could leave areas of your skin open to insect bites. This may be more likely with sprays or lotions.
Mosquito wipes also give protection against other biting insects such as ticks, chiggers, biting flies, no-see-ums, gnats, fleas, and more.
Best Mosquito Repellent Wipes Conclusion
Mosquito wipes are effective and a convenient way to apply mosquito repellent. Many people prefer them as they are less messy than sprays or lotions and also easier to apply to sensitive areas like the face and ears.
They are also very convenient to transport; many come in individual wrappers, which can be important to hikers or campers.
But as we mentioned above, the best mosquito wipe for you will depend on how long you need protection, what you will be doing, and whether there are mosquito-spread diseases in the region.
A few points to note:
- If you need protection for a long period of time choose a wipe that has an active ingredient of DEET or Picaridin.
- In an area where mosquitoes are known vectors of disease use a wipe with an EPA registered active ingredient.
- If you plan to apply the wipe to clothing, be aware that DEET damages synthetic fabrics. Picaridin can be applied to clothing or another alternative is Permethrin, a spray repellent that is intended for clothing.
- Natural wipes using essential oils can be effective in repelling moquitoes but will have to be applied more often than wipes containing DEET or Picaridin.
Mosquito wipes can protect you from annoying mosquitoes and other biting insects. Keeping you safe from the many diseases transmitted by these insects.