Insect repellents containing DEET are considered to be the most effective way to protect your child against insect bites. However, there are natural options on the market for parents who prefer a more natural alternative.
Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2 percent soybean oil, citronella, or cedar have been shown to have an effect against insect bites. However, the duration of action of these products is typically less than two hours, comparable to a product containing 10 percent DEET.
If you are going to use these products, be sure to reapply them frequently. Other natural alternatives such as B1 or garlic have not been shown to be effective.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, January 2020