What's the best mosquito repellant for Peru?

by David and Lin Schneider
(Peru)

Use the best repellant to prevent mosquito-borne diseases in Peru

Use the best repellant to prevent mosquito-borne diseases in Peru

What's the best mosquito repellant for Peru?

Does one repellant work against all varieties of mosquitoes?

Since you may be travelling to an area where you might be exposed to mosquito-borne diseases, these are important questions.


When discussing this topic with a group of others, an acquaintance of mine made this statement.

"It is often better to buy repellant on arrival (in a particular country). Never buy an anti-mosquito product in your home country. Different countries have different species of mosquitoes, often making your home-purchased products useless."

I hadn't heard that before and it got me to thinking.

Since most sources that Lin and I have seen in the past recommend repellants containing a high content of Deet, that's what we've always used with great success.

Anyway, I just researched the World Health Organization as well as the Centers for Disease Control sites. Both put the chemical DEET at the top of the list for repellants.

Neither stated that it only worked for certain types mosquitoes - DEET was recommended worldwide as the active ingredient in the most effective repellants.

The latest consensus states:

"CDC evaluation of information contained in peer-reviewed scientific literature and data available from EPA has identified several EPA registered products that provide repellent activity sufficient to help people avoid the bites of disease carrying mosquitoes. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection:

·                     DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide)

·                     Picaridin (KBR 3023, Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester )

·                     Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus* or PMD (Chemical Name: para-Menthane-3,8-diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus

·                     IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-N-Butyl-N-acetyl-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)"

Although my research indicated that some of the above worked fairly effectively in certain areas, repellants containing DEET were the all around most effective.

Over the past few years, there have been questions raised as to the safety of using DEET. Studies have shown that it would take an immense quantity to cause adverse effects on the human body.

Perhaps you have read articles that would make you feel that DEET repellants are not acceptable. If you choose an alternative, that's totally up to you of course.

  • However, when it's a question of choosing between possible side effects and the much greater (still slight) chance of getting a serious disease, you might decide to go with DEET.

  • Lin and I have tried other products, but only those containing the chemical DEET have been really effective against mosquitoes.

  • I might add that most off-the-shelf mosquito repellants contain DEET anyway.

To get the most effective protection, buy only a repellant that contains at least 30% (and hopefully more) of DEET.

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