Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project
Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project


Mosquitoes can spread viruses that can result in serious illnesses or even death. In Massachusetts, the diseases spread to humans by mosquitoes are West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Mosquito repellents can reduce your chances of being bitten by a mosquito and as a result reduce the risk that you will get one of these diseases.  We recommend using a repellent that has been proven effective by the EPA.  Approved EPA chemicals will have an EPA registration number on the label.

Repellent active ingredients for use on skin and clothing

The following active ingredients are EPA registered and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide)

Picaridin (KBR 3023, Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester )

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD (Chemical Name: para-Menthane-3,8-diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus


IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester

Repellent active ingredients for use on clothing only

What are some considerations to remember when using insect repellents?

Always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label!!


       Select an appropriate repellent based on the amount of time to be spent outdoors pdf

       Use enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing.

       Don't apply repellent to skin that is under clothing. Heavy application is not necessary to achieve protection.

      • Do not apply repellent to cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.

       After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water. (This may vary depending on the product.

         Check the label.)

       Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas.

      • Do not spray aerosol or pump products directly to your face. Spray your hands and then rub them carefully

         over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.

      • It is not recommended to use a repellent/sunscreen combination

Can insect repellents be used on children?

Repellent products must state any age restrictions. If there is none listed, the EPA has not required a restriction on the use of the product.

What are the guidelines for using repellents on children?

Always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label!!

         • When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child. Avoid

             children's eyes and mouth and use it sparingly around their ears.

         • Do not apply repellent to children's hands. (Children may tend to put their hands in their mouths.)

         • Do not allow young children to self-apply insect repellents; have an adult do it for them.

         • Keep repellents out of reach of children.

         • Do not apply repellent under clothing. If repellent is applied to clothing, wash treated clothing before wearing

             again. (May vary by product; check the label).

Additional Information

MA DPH Mosquito Repellentspdf

MA DPH Tick Repellents: pdf

Massachusetts Department of Public Health:

National Pesticide Information Center:

Environmental Protection Agency:

American Academy of Pediatrics:

Permethrin (synthetic pyrethroid) Repels and kills mosquitoes and ticks. DO NOT APPLY TO SKIN!  Applied to clothing, shoes, bed nets, camping gear only.  Often effective through multiple washes (refer to label).