With mosquitoes responsible for over 1 million deaths per year due to the diseases they carry and spread, it's important that we protect our children from these very harmful and annoying pests!
In this comprehensive review, you'll find our curated list of the top reviewed bug and mosquito repellent options for your children as well as:
- How mosquito repellents work.
- Whether mosquito repellents are effective.
- What dangers mosquitoes carry.
- Whether mosquito repellents are safe around pets and children.
- Our top 6 picks for kid-safe mosquito repellents.
Short on time? Click here to check out favorite mosquito repellent for your kids! or you can click here to view our favorite DEET free solution and best natural mosquito repelling option for those looking for a more wholesome approach.
Cutter All Family Mosquito Wipes
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Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin
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Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
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Wondercide Natural Deet-Free Mosquito and Insect Repellent Spray
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Badger Anti-Bug Balm
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Mosquito Guard Kids Repellent Bands
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 2/20/2020)
Our #1 pick is Cutter All Family Mosquito Wipes. These individually packaged towelettes carry a proven 7.15% DEET formula that repels mosquitoes, as well as all kind of biting flies, chiggers, fleas, ticks and gnats.
They give you a tightly controlled method of applying DEET exactly where it’s needed and no further. The wipes aren’t greasy or oily either; they’re clean and light with a pleasant scent.
Wipe your kids down with these or better yet, stuff a few in their pockets so they can wipe themselves when they need it.
Top 6 Best Mosquito Repellents
How Do Mosquito Repellents Work?
Dangers From Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are carriers, also known as vectors, for a wide range of diseases; Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Zika, among others. Ticks carry Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control website has a long list of diseases carried by insects.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water. When the larvae hatch, they swim around eating algae until they mature. After leaving the water, they mated and the male dies so it’s the female that’s biting you. She needs a meal of blood to provide protein for each batch of eggs.
Each time she bites, there is a chance that she will pass on one of the many diseases that mosquitoes carry. Therefore it’s important to keep them away from you and your kids.
Read More: Keeping Mosquitoes Away
How Do You Find The Best Mosquito Repellents?
Let us do that for you. Our staff is composed of people with real-life field experience as licensed pest control technicians. We have years of experience using pesticides and repellents of all kinds.
We’ve put all that experience to work finding the best insect repellents available and bringing them together in one place with the information you need to decide which bug repellent will best suit the needs of you and your family.
Check out the following video for more info on kid-safe mosquito repellents.
Are Mosquito Repellents Effective?
Are Mosquito Repellents Safe Around My Pets And Children?
Yes. All of the mosquito repellents reviewed here are safe around pets and children. In fact, one of them may even make you into your cat’s new best friend.
These are small towelettes, individually wrapped like hand wipes, with DEET on them at a concentration of 7.15%. There is no worry about accidentally spraying your clothes, mouth, or eyes with them either.
Kids will enjoy the feeling of empowerment from being able to wipe themselves down with these towelettes to keep mosquitoes away. They’ll certainly enjoy being able to run around and play without getting eaten alive by hungry mosquitoes.
Once applied, the low concentration of DEET will only last for about 2 hours, but the individual packets are resealable so your kids can just pull them out and reapply them whenever they want to.
Picaridin is an insecticide that’s just as effective as DEET and some even say it’s more effective than DEET. This 4-ounce spray bottle of repellent spray has a 20% concentration in it that will last for up to 12 hours against mosquitoes and ticks, and 8 hours against biting flies.
The higher concentration is what gives it its longer lasting effectiveness.
It is free of any fragrances, safe to use on your clothing, fishing gear, watches, and synthetic materials as well as your exposed skin. You can even spray some on your hands then rub them on your face so you don’t have to close your eyes to spray yourself in the face.
This is an all-natural pump spray containing oil of lemon eucalyptus, the only one of the essential oils that has been systematically tested and found to be an effective insect repellent. It gives you hours of protection, up to 6 hours at a time.
This is a natural insect repellent that is safe and effective. However, it hasn’t been lab-tested to determine if it’s safe for young children under 3 years of age. Based on our experience, we suspect it is safe but we can’t actually prove it.
The natural ingredients are non-toxic, non-greasy, non-sticky, and won’t stain your clothes.
- DEET free, natural option
- Zero artificial colors, odors or synthetic pesticides.
- Safe for babies, infants, kids, and pets, yet powerful enough to be effective
Looking for a very safe and family friendly option? The folks at Wondercide (as seen on Shark Tank) created a true natural option for those concerned with using DEET and other synthetic pesticides on their children.
It protects your babies from bug bites by using the power of only food-grade US made ingredients that repel mosquitoes, sand flies, gnats, and other biting insects.
Now available in wipes and other scents too, this made our list as our favorite option for those concerned with using synthetic options. In some instances this product may not be as effective as your DEET or Picaridin options, but the peace of mind of using a natural, safe option is quite nice.
This stick balm from Badger uses 100% organic active ingredients such as castor oil, geranium, cedar, citronella, and rosemary. Because it’s a stick, it can be applied with a high degree of control over where it goes.
It protects you from bug bites using essential oils that are known to repel mosquitoes, sand flies, gnats, and other biting insects. Although these essential oils haven’t been scientifically tested in laboratory conditions by the anecdotal evidence seems convincing.
However, some people report that it attracts bees.
The scent is light and it acts as a skin moisturizer while it repels mosquitoes. It’s greasy though and needs to be reapplied often, about once every 2-3 hours.
These wristbands are made for children and can be worn on their wrists or ankles. Each polyethylene wristband contains citronella oil, lemongrass, and geraniol essential oils to keep mosquitoes away from your children.
These individually wrapped bands are advertised as DEET-free, containing only natural products. These stretchy bands are easy to adjust for any size child over the age of 3, making them perfect for any outdoor activity such as hiking, sports, or just laying back on the beach.
It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a safe product that will last up to 18 months in its individual packet.
Our Top Pick: Cutter All Family Mosquito Wipes
DEET is the safest and most effective mosquito repellent on the market. It’s safe for children and these towelettes are an easy way to apply it. The resealable packets are convenient and easy to use.
You apply it to your skin and most clothing. One application lasts 2 hours without feeling. It will have to be reapplied on a regular basis to maintain its effectiveness.
- The wipes last for several years if they’re not opened
- Children of any age can use them.
- Safe for cotton, nylon, and wool
Final Thoughts On Mosquito RepellentsAlthough we have some clear favorites, there’s nothing to stop you from combing one or more of these products and using them together. Using one of the essential oils or all-natural products in combination with the wearable bands is an excellent idea. You can combine the DEET wipes with any of the oils and wipes or use the Picaridin with the stick balm and bands. Any of these combinations creates a layered defense that is more effective than any single one of them. Mix it up and tell the mosquitoes to buzz off!
Other Mosquito Guides
Curious about other mosquito products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.