Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is a fantastic choice for a natural insect repellent. In most tests, it's effective against mosquitoes and ticks for about six hours. However, it's not equally effective for everyone: It can't be used on toddlers or babies and it's supposed to be applied only twice a day.
Lasts six hours and holds up in tough environments. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent deters insects using lemon eucalyptus oil, an ingredient approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and recommended by Canadian public health authorities as an alternative for those allergic to DEET. In a professional test, Repel was the only natural product able to compete with chemical insect repellents, scoring 97 out of 100. Repel says this all-natural repellent can protect for six hours, which is comparable to repellents containing 25 percent DEET.
It works well to prevent mosquitoes and ticks from biting, and even keeps pesky sand flies, midges and stable flies at bay. However, it isn't as effective as a DEET product, which experts say is the best choice if you're venturing into a heavily mosquito-infested area, particularly if there is a malaria or West Nile Virus risk.
An overpowering odor, but most say the smell is worth it. Although users say Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent works well, some are turned off by the strong smell of this formula. One reviewer advises not to spray it anywhere near your face because it will irritate your eyes. An expert test describes Repel as having "a plastic beach-ball and citrusy odor and [it] left little residue." While there aren't many complaints on the product's feel, a handful of reviewers say it can be messy to apply as the bottle is prone to leaks or doesn't spray effectively.
ConsumerReports.org editors test Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent among 10 bug repellents, including products containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil and IR3535. Editors use four volunteers to test these products with two species of mosquitoes common in the U.S., as well as with deer ticks. ConsumerReports.org does not include Repel in its more recent 2013 report.
Review: Best Ways to Keep Bugs at Bay, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, July 2010
2. Journal of Medical Entomology
Twelve mosquito repellers, including Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, are tested in this study. Results show that some mosquito repellents including Repel, protect as long as seven or eight hours for one tester, but only four hours for another.
Review: Laboratory Evaluation of Mosquito Repellents, Donald R. Barnard and Rui-De Xue, July 2004
Andria Lisle and friends compare nine mosquito repellents. Informal testing occurs at backyard cookouts and on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is their No. 2 pick. Lisle says Repel lasts all night long, but the scent is overwhelming.
Review: Bug Off!, Andria Lisle, July 26, 2005
4. Backpacker Magazine
Backpacker magazine tests 15 mosquito repellents on 200 mosquitoes held inside a tank, writer Berne Broudy reports the results. Each mosquito repeller is sprayed on a single tester's arm, which is inserted into the tank of mosquitoes. The mosquito repellents are ranked according to length of effectiveness. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent lasts for four hours and is ranked third. Testers describe the smell as "delicious."
Review: Bug Off!, Berne Broudy, June 2007
More than 100 users have written reviews about Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, giving it an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Nearly everyone agrees it's effective in repelling mosquitoes, ticks and sand fleas. It receives mixed reviews on the scent, which is also long-lasting.
Review: Repel HG-406T Lemon Eucalyptus 4-Ounce Insect Repellent Pump Spray, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
Drugstore.com publishes user ratings and reviews of bug repellents. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent gets an above average rating of 4 out of 5 stars from about 70 users. Most agree it works on mosquitoes and ticks. Some say the odor is too strong, while others say it dissipates. Reviewers say it feels better on the skin than other repellents they have used in the past.
Review: Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of June 2013
Parents.com endorses Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent for its long-lasting effectiveness, but the write-up is short and Parents.com does not appear to test Repel or any of the other products. Bite Blocker's herbal repellent, Cutter Advanced Insect Repellent and others are also recommended.
Review: Ultimate Guide to Bug Repellent for Kids, Andrea Cooley, Not dated
About.com's guide to alternative medicine recommends -- but doesn't test -- Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, instead citing numerous reputable lab tests that indicate the product is highly effective. Many of the studies are dated, which is true for much of the research available on insect repellents. However, many of the products still have the same formulas as when the studies were released.
Review: Natural Mosquito Repellents, Cathy Wong, Sept. 19, 2012