Don’t waste your money! Here are 4 mosquito repellents experts say don’t work

HOUSTON – The return of the summer heat means our state bird is swarming! We’re talking about mosquitos. Before you buy bug spray or any type of repellent, you should know if they actually work.

According to Consumer Reports, these four types of repellents are not up to the job:

Natural repellents

Products with active natural ingredients like clove or lemongrass or rosemary oil are regulated differently than other repellant products. The EPA doesn’t require the companies that sell them to prove that they work.

Wearable wristbands

Experts say wearing a small band on your wrist to protect your whole body from mosquitos doesn’t work either.

Sonic repellents

Those ultrasonic devices that claim to emit high-frequency sounds, too high for humans to hear but just the right frequency to drive pests away, are just a bunch of noise. Consumer Reports says there’s no proof that they work.


The always popular citronella candles might smell nice, but experts say they do not protect you from mosquitos.

So what does work?

Time and time again, health experts say and tests confirm that products containing 15 to 30% deet are most effective and safe when used properly. Even the EPA and the CDC say when applied correctly, products containing deet are even safe for pregnant women.

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.