Specific formulation of naturally sourced repellent safer and more effective than DEET, report reveals

A specific formulation of naturally sourced insect repellent containing 30% Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (Citriodiol®) is the most effective repellent and is also safer than DEET, a new investigation by Consumer Reports US has revealed.  

Insect repellent research

The product which is available in the UK as the near identical Mosi-guard Natural Spray also outperformed the DEET products tested. Researchers tested a variety of repellents including DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, picaridin, a chemical known as ‘IR3535’ and products made with natural plant oils such as citronella.

The aim was to identify good alternatives to products containing the chemical DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Each was tested against a range of biting insects, including various species of mosquitoes and biting arachnida such as

Watch the interesting Consumer Reports video below.

The findings revealed US brand - Repel Lemon Eucalyptus - which uses the active ingredient Citriodiol® (or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus) scored top marks and outperformed the DEET products for protection time and efficacy. Citriodiol® is produced by Citrefine, the manufacturers of Mosi-guard Natural.

Results showed the Citriodiol® formulation (alongside one other Picaridin based product) provided the longest protection, of seven hours against mosquitoes and six hours against ticks. The plant-oil products such as citronella did not score well, providing less than 30 minutes of protection against the aedes mosquito, aggressive day-long biters which can carry the Chikungunya virus.

Since the 1950s DEET has been recommended by many experts as the best repellent for use in high-risk areas where insects can transmit Lyme DiseaseWest Nile VirusMalaria and Chikungunya. However, the powerful chemical used widely in repellents has been linked with skin irritation, neurotoxicity and is known to damage plastics.

These latest findings add to the 35 laboratory and field studies in which Citriodiol® has been shown to offer long-lasting protection against a range of biting insects, ticks and leeches from a single application. These studies support the use of Citriodiol® in high and low risk areas where malaria and other insect transmitted diseases are present.
 
The report further supports the use of Mosi-guard Natural® as a skin kind alternative to DEET-based products. It also contains the only naturally and sustainably sourced active ingredient recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).