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What is the best repellent for Zika carrying mosquitoes?

Independent research confirms that Repel DEET and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus insect repellents provide exceptional protection from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – the primary carrier of Zika, Dengue and Yellow Fever viruses.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an urban-based mosquito that is the primary carrier of the Zika virus. It's found in a growing number of countries commonly visited by Kiwis including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Rarotonga and the Cook Islands. (View our Mozzie Map to see the spread of common mosquito diseases).

We recently commissioned an independent field trial to specifically test our products against this mosquito and the trial confirmed our Repel Tropical-Strength and Ultra DEET insect repellents provide 100% protection.

The trial also tested our 100% natural non-DEET insect repellent, Repel OLE!, which contains Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (the only natural insect repellent recognised by the World Health Organisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The report also found that Repel OLE! provided long-term repellency and would be a good alternative for DEET-sensitive individuals.

Products tested

Repel Ultra Insect Repellent

Active ingredient: 40% DEET.

Field trial result: up to 10 hours complete protection from Aedes aegypti.



Repel Tropical Strength Insect Repellent

Active ingredient: 30% DEET.

Field trial result: up to 8 hours complete protection from Aedes aegypti.



Repel OLE! Insect Repellent

Active ingredient: Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

Field trial result: up to 6.9 hours complete protection from Aedes aegypti.



About the trials

The four day field trial was conducted in Australia in April 2016, in an environment mimicking the habitat of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Human testers were exposed to hundreds of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes resulting in three times the normal biting intensity experienced in the mosquitoes' natural habitat.

Before applying any insect repellent, the human testers recorded the number of mosquitoes landing on exposed skin over two minutes. On average they recorded between 19.4 and 55.9 successful mosquito landings* in just two minutes - that's a lot of potential mosquito bites!

The testers then applied Repel pump spray and gel stick products following our recommended application guidelines and recorded the number of mosquito landings over the next eight hours.

Report findings

The final report of the field trial states conclusively:

The results of the semi-field trials indicate that all of the Repel DEET-based repellents provided exceptional repellency against Ae. aegypti mosquitoes under high biting intensity. The Repel OLE! oil of lemon eucalyptus product also provided long-term repellency and would be a good alternative to DEET-sensitive individuals.
Overall, the repellency of all products tested was highly effective under extreme biting intensity (>30 attempts/2 min) for a mosquito species that often averages <10 mosquitoes/house (Codeço et al. 2015, Rodrigues et al. 2015). The Repel Tropical Strength products (30% DEET, stick and spray applicator) matched their respective labelled effective times (up to 8 hrs protection), while the Repel Ultra (40% DEET, spray applicator) matched expectations (up to 10 hrs protection).
Although the Repel OLE! product was the only repellent to experience failure (≥3 mosquitoes landing), it performed above expectations for a botanical-based repellent and its Complete Protection Time (CPT) time matched its labelled protection time (up to 6 hrs protection). Based on these results, all four products tested would provide exceptional protection against Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.

More information

The results of the trial show conclusively that Repel insect repellents offer your best protection from the Zika virus and other diseases carried by this mosquito.

Be sure to view our range of NZ-made insect repellents and travel accessories to stay protected on your next trip overseas, and remember mosquitoes can and do bite through clothing and travel medicine experts advise treating clothing with Permethrin. Our Repel Permethrin Fabric Treatment kits are a quick and easy solution for clothing treatment.

If you'd like to know more about the results of this field trial or have any questions about our products, please email us at

*LR (Landing Rate) = a mosquito lands on the skin of a tester for more than 3 seconds.

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