How do mosquito repellents actually work?

We all use mosquito repellents, but how do these products actually keep mosquitoes away?

Mosquito repellents play a pivotal role in everybody’s nightly drama. The curtains are drawn, you’re just about to fall asleep and then you hear it: that buzzing coming from all over the room. Softer, louder, and followed by a loud clap. Then more clapping. Finally the spraying sound of an aerosol can and the buzzing stops. You can sleep easy not only without a buzzing, but knowing you’re protected from all the harm mosquitoes can bring. But how exactly does it work?

Many myths have circled around how mosquito repellents work. From them masking your smell, making an unpleasant odour for the insects, killing mosquitoes completely, or some kind of combination of all three. Some people even believe wearing certain clothes, colours, or patterns will repel the little guys. The fact remains that most people don’t know, and just spray and hope.

A lot of research seemed to contradict itself in terms of how the compounds work. Until recently, it was decided that the smells are hidden from the mosquitoes. The compound that mosquitoes seek out can be found in human perspiration and breath. Mosquitoes pick up on this smell and try to find it, and in doing so, find you. But more recent studies suggest that mosquitoes do, in fact, actively avoid the smell of these compounds. Meaning that a lot of repellents don’t hide you, they make you repulsive to mosquitoes.

Repellents have been used all over the globe by millions of people for decades, but there’s always ways to be safer. Make sure you follow the instructions on the product. Keep it external: avoid near your eyes, mouth, nose or broken skin. If you need to apply it to your face, rather spray it in your hands first so you can apply it more accurately.

Although the answer may vary from product to product, it can safely be said that many repellents do precisely that: they repel. As mosquitoes try and find the smell they are looking for on you, they instead find a smell that makes them want to move on.

Peaceful Sleep offers a wide range of products that use a multitude of repellent solutions; making them effective, yet gentle insect repellents to protect you and your family. Peaceful Sleep Mosquito Repellent Aerosol and Peaceful Sleep Mosquito Repellent Cream are already South African favourites. And a new range of Peaceful Sleep Family Care offers protection for children 6 months and older.

Keep yourself and your family protected with a formula that works.