EPA-Registered Insect Repellent
Protect yourself from mosquito bites
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective.
Registered repellents have an EPA registration number on the package, which is a simple way to check to see if a particular product is registered.
Common repellent ingredients in EPA-registered products
Common ingredients include:
- DEET (note: this is not DDT, which was an insecticide banned in the US in the 1970s)
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (note: this is not the same as lemon eucalyptus essential oil)
Read the label
Check the label of any product for:
- An EPA-registration number.
- Any age restrictions (some products should not be used on very young children).
- Whether the product works against mosquitoes or ticks, or both.
- How to apply - read the whole label to understand the instructions before using the repellent.
- How long the product will work, and how often to reapply.
Learn more at: www.epa.gov/insect-repellents
When using sunscreen and repellent, apply sunscreen first and then repellent. Sunscreen should be applied at least every two hours, while most insect repellents need to be applied much less frequently. Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products are not recommended.
Do you hike, camp, or spend a lot of time outdoors?
You may be interested in a product called permethrin. Permethrin is effective against mosquitoes and ticks. You can apply to clothing and gear before using. Permethrin products are not meant to be applied directly to skin. As with any product, always read the entire label to understand the instructions before using permethrin.
Page last reviewed: October 21, 2022