About picaridin insect repellents and permethrin sprays
What are picaridin insect repellents and permethrin sprays?
Picaridin insect repellents are bug sprays that use picaridin, rather than DEET, as their active ingredient. When used at a concentration of 20%, picaridin is just as effective at repelling mosquitoes, gnats, midges, and ticks as formulations containing the same amount of DEET.
It has also been found to have fewer irritating effects on the skin than DEET, which is a big bonus for people planning to use bug spray over long periods of time. Picaridin-based formulations also come without DEET’s unpleasant, chemical odor, making them the preferred choice for many consumers.
Permethrin sprays are formulations containing permethrin, an insecticide that effectively repels mosquitoes and other biting insects. Sprays containing permethrin can be used to treat tents, nets, backpacks, clothing and other outdoor gear, where it effectively deters and kills any insects that land on them. This long-lasting spray is a camper’s best friend, as it only needs to be applied once. The insecticide binds tightly to fibers and even resists washing, for up to 6 weeks of repellent activity
Who uses picaridin insect repellents and permethrin sprays?
Picaridin insect repellents and permethrin sprays are great for keeping mosquitoes and other biting insects away during summertime. In particular, they are highly suitable for:
Picaridin and permethrin are less irritating to the skin than DEET-based formulations, making them more suitable for use on sensitive skin. This is perfect if you have children in your family.
Hikers and campers
If you plan to spend several days, or even weeks outdoors, you need something a little more heavy-duty than your run-of-the-mill bug spray. Permethrin-based sprays are a fantastic way to keep mosquitoes off your back, as these can be used to treat clothing, tents, nets, and all other outdoor gear. The effects of these sprays can last for up to 6 weeks, even with washing, so they’re the ideal choice for a camping trip!
Dog-owners know what a nightmare ticks and fleas can be. Permethrin sprays can be used on your dog’s fur to repel these bugs, which is perfect if you plan to walk your furry friends in rural areas. Note, however, that permethrin sprays must not be used on cats. This insecticide is highly toxic to cats and must be kept well away from felines.
How do picaridin insect repellents and permethrin sprays work?
Picaridin insect repellents
Picaridin is a synthetic compound that effectively repels mosquitoes, fleas ticks, and other biting insects. It is often used in repellent insect sprays and is applied directly to the skin. Products containing 20% picaridin have been found to be just as effective as those containing the same amount of DEET, but have less of an unpleasant odor. It is also less irritating to the skin than DEET, making it a great choice for kids and people with sensitive skin.
Although picaridin doesn’t kill insects, it seems to prevent mosquitoes from finding you. This makes them less likely to land on you, therefore preventing bites.
Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide that is highly toxic to insects. It can kill mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other biting flies if they touch or ingest the chemical. Sprays that incorporate permethrin can be used to treat clothing, tents and other fabrics, where it binds tightly to the fibers and effectively repels bugs. Its effects can last for weeks, even after washing, and can keep all biting insects out of your vicinity during hiking and camping trips. This insecticide is odorless when dry and relatively safe to use around humans and dogs; however, it is highly toxic to cats.
Use picaridin insect repellents and permethrin sprays instead of…
Natural insect repellents
Many people are turned off by the idea of using chemicals on their skin and, as a result, there are many natural alternatives. Natural sprays generally use plant-based repellents such as citronella, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, catnip, and lemongrass.
Although some people find that natural sprays work, their effects are variable. Results seem to vary from person to person and, if you’re the type mosquitoes love, they are unlikely to be strong enough to keep you free from bites.
Insect repellents containing DEET
DEET is widely considered to be the most effective mosquito-repellent on the market and has been used to keep insects at bay for decades. However, sprays that contain DEET usually have a strong, chemical smell that is off-putting for most people. Many users also report skin irritation when using DEET, and this chemical can be highly toxic if ingested. Picaridin and permethrin-based formulations are generally preferable because they are odorless when dry, but are just as effective as DEET when used at concentrations of at least 20%.
Picaridin insect repellent and permethrin spray buying guide
The main difference between picaridin mosquito repellents and permethrin sprays is how long-lasting their effects are and how you apply them.
Picaridin bug sprays are designed to be applied directly to the skin, and their effects tend to last for up to 6 hours. They are, therefore, most suitable for use over shorter periods of time. If you are planning a hiking or a camping trip, however, it can be inconvenient to have to constantly re-apply bug spray. In this situation, permethrin-based sprays are a better option. These can be used to treat your clothing and outdoor gear to effectively repel biting insects for a period of several weeks, keeping bugs out of your vicinity throughout your trip.
Tips for using these types of sprays
- Use when mosquitoes are at their most active: Mosquitoes are most active around dawn and dusk. Repellent sprays should, therefore, be applied at sunrise and sunset every day to keep biting bugs off your skin.
- Use in areas with lots of mosquitoes: Mosquitoes tend to be most common in warm, humid areas, or places with standing water such as around ditches, ponds, and rice paddies. If you are venturing into areas with large numbers of mosquitoes it is important to be vigilant with your bug spray and use it throughout the day.
- Re-apply as often as necessary: Repellent sprays will usually wear off after around 6 hours. They may also wash off with water. It is important to re-apply these sprays as often as necessary to ensure their continued efficacy, as well as after swimming or bathing.
- Use in combination with other preventative measures: If you are camping or sleeping in the open air, it is important to combine repellent sprays with other preventative measures. Always sleep under a mosquito net to keep insects away from you while you sleep, and consider burning citronella candles in the evening for additional protection.
- Correct storage: Picaridin repellents and permethrin sprays must be properly stored to make sure they don’t lose their effectiveness. Keep your sprays in a cool, dry place and don’t leave them in direct sunlight.
Keeping biting insects at bay is, therefore, a top priority for anyone planning to get the most of the warm temperatures and long days of the summer season.
Products containing DEET have long been used to repel insects, but the strong, chemical odor of these sprays is off-putting for most people. Non-DEET insect repellents, such as picaridin and permethrin sprays, are an attractive alternative. Not only are these sprays highly effective for repelling insects, they are also completely odorless when dry.
Picaridin repellents can be applied directly to the skin, where they prevent mosquitoes from landing and biting. Permethrin sprays can be applied to clothing and other outdoor equipment, where they repel and kill all insects in the vicinity over a period of several weeks. Sawyer permethrin and picaridin products are especially well-known for their efficacy and are a top choice for keeping mosquitoes away this summer!