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Choosing an Insect Repellent: How Do I Know Which Repellent is Right for Me?

Quick Resources

Use repellents that give you the length of protection you need, based on the amount of time you will be outdoors. Look for EPA-registered products that provide protection time information on the product label. Shorter protection time does not mean the product is less effective. Key points to remember when selecting an insect repellent include:

Be sure to use a product with a protection time that fits your activity. Keep in mind your results may vary depending on a number of factors:

Re-apply repellent according to label instructions. The label on the insect repellent product is your guide to using these products safely and effectively.

Look for an EPA registration number (EPA Reg. No.) on the insect repellent product label. This registration number means the company provided EPA with technical information on the effectiveness of the product against mosquitoes and/or ticks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of products registered by EPA. Learn more about insect repellent products from the CDC.

Search for a Repellent that is Right for You

Use the search tool to help you choose the repellent product that is right for you. Keep in mind the insect you need protection from and the amount of time you plan to be outdoors. You can specify the insect, protection time, active ingredient, or other product-specific information.

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