You know that moment when you’re lying in bed and mosquitoes immediately buzz around you? Most insect bites in Germany are harmless, but the constant itching the next day might not be. With a mosquito repellent, you can keep the pesky critters at bay and go to sleep without worrying. In the evening, you can enjoy a barbecue with your friends without having to strain yourself afterwards. Most users use electric vaporisers, although there are also two non-toxic plug-ins. They work with ultrasonic waves or bright light and electric shocks.
For reliable protection against unwanted insects, compare 5 mosquito repellents. We answer important questions about each product and explain its features, such as range or which animals the model is suitable for. In the following guide, we describe in more detail how each mosquito repellent works and explain its advantages and disadvantages. You will learn interesting facts about insect bites and find suitable alternatives. Finally, we check whether the insect repellents have been tested by consumer portals with the help of Stiftung Warentest and Öko Test.
We can recommend these 5 mosquito repellents for the home
Raid Mosquito Plug- mosquito protection for up to 45 nights
The Raid Mosquito Plug is an electric spray that has a quick and long-lasting effect. You get a charge and a plug that can be plugged into any normal socket. According to the manufacturer, you can expect low energy consumption – less than 4 watt-hours. The mosquito repellent cap is said to provide reliable protection against all mosquitoes and tiger mosquitoes. Raid claims that it can be used with the windows closed or slightly open.
Raid states that the effective area is 30 square metres. The manufacturer recommends turning the unit on 30 minutes before bedtime for best results. There is no on/off switch, so you have to turn it off to turn it off. An indicator light shows you when the device is active. Raid is an odourless biocide-based insecticide.
Etisso Mosquito Plug – works in three steps
Etisso Mosquito Repellent is designed to provide reliable and long-lasting protection against mosquitoes. It is an electric spray into which you insert a container of the active ingredient every night. With the plug you get 20 pieces and three refills with 20 additional pieces each. This gives you protection for about 80 nights.
According to Etisso, the plug-in is extremely easy to use. You take a small piece of aluminium foil and slide it under the mesh part of the device. You can use it in different rooms, e.g. in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or caravan. The Etisso mosquito repellent works in an area of 20 square metres and should be used with the window open. If you can’t find the light or switch, turn off the device and unplug it.
Commonly asked questions.
EXBUSTER NX1387-944 Mosquito Trap – Lightweight High Voltage Trap with Protective Shutter
The EXBUSTER NX1387-944 mosquito trap is a high voltage light trap. It is equipped with eight UV light emitting diodes and a high voltage grid. The UV light is used to attract insects. The high-voltage grid has a voltage of 600 volts and can kill insects by electrocution, according to the manufacturer.
The EXBUSTER mosquito killer can be used in rooms up to 20 square metres. It works without poisons or chemicals. It contains a container that holds the dead insects. It can be removed for cleaning.
Two ready-to-plug-in EXBUSTER insect killers are included in the delivery. They are equipped with a Euro plug and can be used in 230 V sockets. The package also includes an instruction manual in German and a brush.
Commonly asked questions.
Vawcornic Mosquito Killer – not only for mosquitoes
The Vawcornic Mosquito Repellent Cap is an ultrasonic device that the manufacturer claims is safe for children and pets. It emits bionic waves and ultrasound that repel mice. The electromagnetic waves damage the insects’ nerves and bodies, Vawcornic claims. They are also believed to destroy their ability to reproduce.
The manufacturer offers a satisfaction guarantee: if the customer is not satisfied within 60 days, the manufacturer will take the device back. Vawcornic warns that you will notice an increase in animal activity in the first three to five days of use. After two weeks, the ultrasonic mosquito repellent should chase away all mosquitoes, and after four to seven weeks, the manufacturer says you will hardly notice the pests. This model can be used in many places, for example in the kitchen or bedroom. There is a switch on the side of the device that makes it easy to operate.
Gardigo Mosquito Repellent – LED Night Light for Children
According to the manufacturer, the Gardigo Mosquito Repellent repels harmful mosquitoes by emitting a high-frequency tone of 7,000 hertz. According to the manufacturer, the sound is unpleasant for biting insects because it imitates the flapping of the wings of mating males. Female mosquitoes must therefore leave and avoid the area. According to Gardigo, the mosquito repellent has a high-quality white plastic housing and measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.8 cm. Thanks to its modern design, the ultrasonic device fits into any living space.
According to the manufacturer, the 66993 mosquito repellent can be used in any room, such as the kitchen, children’s room or living room. You need a 220-240 V socket to use it. The usable area is 25 square metres and the power consumption is 0.2 watts. The socket is GS-certified, so you can expect a high level of safety, says Gardig. As the manufacturer points out, you benefit from a German-based company and distribution in Germany. In the event of a warranty or non-warranty claim, you should receive immediate assistance.
The Gardigo mosquito repellent has a green LED light. According to the manufacturer, the product is suitable for children who find it easier to orientate themselves or fall asleep without the light.
Commonly Asked Questions.
Mosquito repellent guide: important facts
What is a mosquito net?
Testing mosquito netsA mosquito net is a type of insect repellent that runs on electricity. All models are equipped with a plug that has to be plugged into a normal 230 V socket. Depending on the type, the net emits a scent or ultrasonic waves.
Some versions use light to attract mosquitoes and electric shocks to kill them on contact. Despite the different types, most people use the term “mosquito repellent” for a highly effective electric spray.
Which animals are controlled by mosquito repellents?
Depending on the type of mosquito repellent, you can have success against mosquitoes, insects and small mammals. The classic spray is effective against different types of mosquitoes. Besides the mosquitoes that are common in Germany, it can also prevent the bite of the dangerous tiger mosquito. However, the spray is also effective against fruit flies and house flies.
The mosquito repellent kills various insects that are attracted to UV light. Examples are moths and mosquitoes. Ultrasonic devices can be used against different types of pests, depending on the frequency. For example, they can repel mice, cockroaches, voles, rats and fleas. Some versions can also get rid of ants, bees and beetles.
How does an anti-mosquito plug work?
Did you know that the effectiveness of mosquito repellents depends on their type? With electric sprays, you put the liquid or a small disc into the socket. When you press the switch or when the current starts to flow, the device heats up. The insecticide in the disc or bottle heats up and is released into the air as tiny droplets. The mosquitoes smell the odour and are initially weakened, which has the effect of preventing bites. If the insect stays too long near the cap, which it tries to escape by running away, the insecticide has a lethal effect.
To emit waves, the ultrasound device must be supplied with electricity. The sounds are high-frequency or ultrasonic, so that humans cannot hear them. Female mosquitoes that are looking for your blood recognise the sound and consider it mating. That’s why they run away and don’t approach you – or so the theory goes. High-voltage light traps attract mosquitoes with light, and when the insect touches the net, it is killed by an electric shock of up to 800 volts.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of mosquito repellents?
As we know, there are three types of mosquito traps. To decide which one is best for you, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Depending on your situation, one or the other option may be more suitable for your home..
Mosquito repellent plug
The electric vaporiser is the classic version of mosquito repellent. You can count on it working well and your room will be mosquito-free in no time. It’s easy to use because you just plug it in and it starts spraying biocides.
Sometimes there is also a switch so you don’t have to unplug it every time. This way you won’t be disturbed by annoying noises that could disturb your sleep, for example. Many biocide sprays are odourless, so you won’t smell them.
The pesticides they contain are hazardous to your health and can be harmful. Therefore, you should not use them in your child’s room. If you are pregnant or allergic, other mosquito repellents are better. Electric vaporisers are not the best option for pets as mosquitoes die if they are in the room for a long time. Other insects suffer from the same poison, so you are harming your precious pets. The usable area is quite small at 20-30 square metres. Despite the low purchase price, you should expect higher costs, as you usually have to restock after 45 days.
- Good results
- Easy to use
- No noticeable noise
- Partially odourless
- Emits harmful toxins
- Not suitable for children, pregnant women and allergy sufferers
- Expensive fillers
- Poisons kill other insects
- Low effective range
Mosquito repellent with ultrasound
The advantage of ultrasonic mosquito repellents is that they can control many pests other than mosquitoes. For example, they can repel mice or cockroaches. Unlike biocidal sprays, they do not kill animals, so this version is also suitable for pets. The range is quite large because the sound waves are well distributed in the room. Ultrasonic models work without chemicals and are therefore also suitable for children, pregnant women and allergy sufferers. The treatment is simple and the initial costs are low.
The biggest disadvantage of ultrasonic mosquito repellents is their controversial effect. It is assumed that mosquitoes have poor hearing and hardly react to sounds. However, they can perceive sounds. Animals, children and young people have good hearing and can perceive the waves as unpleasant.
- Suitable for different animal species
- Wide range of effects
- Suitable for children, pregnant women and people with allergies
- Insects and animals are easily repelled
- Functions without the use of chemicals
- Easy to use
- Not very effective against mosquitoes
- Partially audible noise
High-voltage light trap
High voltage light traps protect against all types of insects indoors and outdoors. They work without chemicals and are suitable for pregnant women and allergy sufferers. They can also be used in children’s rooms when children cannot reach them. The high voltage trap also works as a bedside lamp. The treatment is easy because you just plug the device in and it does the rest.
As with ultrasound, the effect of the high-voltage light trap is questionable. Although it is supposed to attract mosquitoes, it is already outdated. In fact, the light intensity has little effect on mosquitoes, so UV light repels other insects better. Since the device supplies electricity to animals, it is not a pet-friendly version. You should rather not use the trap in the bedroom, as you will hear the electric current and perceive unpleasant noises. Compared to a biocide spray or an ultrasonic cap, you should expect a higher purchase price.
- Functions without chemicals
- Suitable for a wide range of insects
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Suitable for children, pregnant women and people with allergies
- Easy to use
- Not very effective against mosquitoes
- Partially audible
- Very expensive
- The electric shock kills mosquitoes and other insects
How to use mosquito repellent properly
Caution. Here’s what you need to know Using a mosquito repellent is easy: in most cases, you just need to plug it in and wait. Read and follow the instructions before using it for the first time. The following additional tips are useful:
- Keep all mosquito repellents out of the reach of young children.
- Store mosquito repellents out of the reach of children. This is important for models that use UV light so that they do not attract other animals.
- Make sure the net is not touching anything and is not blocked by curtains.
- Only turn the net on when you need it.
- For nets containing biocides, keep the bottles horizontal and tightly closed during storage.
- When using sprays, make sure that the maximum application time is respected and that the room is ventilated regularly.
- If you use ultrasonic waves, keep them closed.
- If you use ultrasonic waves for mosquito control, choose the right frequency.
What alternatives are there to mosquito repellents?
Not all mosquitoes are persuaded by caps. Biocidal sprays release toxins into the air that are not necessarily healthy, and the other two types have questionable effects. If you are looking for suitable alternatives, you will find the right solution in the following list:
|Mosquito spray||Mosquito spray is applied directly to the body and works like biocidal sprays against odours. It keeps mosquitoes away from your body and after a few hours the product evaporates on your skin. The mosquito spray offers good protection against bites, but contains substances that are not suitable for children and pregnant women. The maximum duration of action is 8 to 10 hours, so the protection must be renewed daily. Over time, this can lead to high costs.|
|Essential oils||Mosquitoes are repelled by scents such as lavender, basil, sage, eucalyptus, cedarwood or rosemary. Unlike mosquito sprays, you don’t have to rub them in, but can use scented lamps, scented sticks or scented candles to spread the scent around the room. Essential oils can be used indoors and outdoors. Mosquito repellents used daily can quickly become annoying. Some people are allergic to certain substances or do not like the intense smell.|
|Fly screens||A very effective way to keep mosquitoes out of your house is to use fly screens. If you put fly screens on all your windows, you will no longer have problems with biting insects in your house. A positive side effect is that flies and other insects are also kept out. Depending on the size of your home, the cost of installing insect screens on all your windows can be quite high. If you only put fly screens in the bedrooms, the mosquitoes will get to the other windows as well.|
|Plants||avender, tomato, lemongrass, basil, rosemary, calendula and many other plants are said to repel mosquitoes. Depending on the plant, indoor use is not possible. The plants need to be well cared for and some need to be planted in multiple pots to effectively repel mosquitoes.|
What should I look for when buying mosquito repellent?
What to look for When temperatures rise and nights get warmer, mosquitoes don’t stay in the warm for long. The constant buzzing around the head is not only annoying at night, but can also make it difficult to watch TV or play with children. Although the bite is usually harmless, no one likes the uncomfortable itch that follows. If you decide to buy a mosquito repellent to protect yourself from insect bites, you should consider the following criteria:
Type of repellent
Mosquito repellents come in the form of biocidal sprays, ultrasonic devices or high-voltage light traps. All three types have advantages and disadvantages, but only one provides reliable protection against mosquitoes. With a biocide spray, there are no more mosquito bites, but long-term use can lead to health problems. Models with ultrasonic waves or UV light have no proven effectiveness; their advantage is that they do not contain toxic substances.
Ultimately, you need to consider what you are looking for and what type of insect repellent is suitable for you. If you are looking for a mosquito repellent for your child, are pregnant or suffer from allergies, you should avoid electric sprays. If none of these three types are right for you, check out our list of alternatives.
When choosing the right type, the precise effect is important. Ask yourself what you want to use the insect repellent for and where you will use it. For example, if you want to create a mosquito-free zone in your garden, a spray bottle will not work. Next, choose a high-voltage light trap. If you are outside next to an electrical outlet, an ultrasonic device is suitable. For good protection in a given room, the effective range of the socket is important. If the room is about 30 square metres, you will need more than one vaporiser model.
Also find out whether you only want to combat mosquitoes or repel all insects. Depending on the frequency, the ultrasonic waves can also repel other animals such as mice or cockroaches. Light attracts moths, for example, and sprays are useful against biting and tiger mosquitoes.
Easy to use
If you use a spray, ask yourself whether you prefer liquids or bottles. Bottles last 45 nights and can be replaced. They are suitable for rooms where you use a plug every day. Plugs only last 8-10 hours and need to be replaced daily. This can be useful for rooms that are used less frequently or only occasionally.
When used in a child’s room, the additional LED light that some ultrasonic units are equipped with can be useful. A mosquito repellent with UV light works continuously so that the child can sleep better at night and be his or her companion. Sprays are less likely to have an on/off switch, so they are easier to use.
Important women and answers about mosquito repellent
What attracts mosquitoes?
There are many rumours about why mosquitoes cling to people the most. Many older theories have been disproved, for example that light sources attract the animals. The reason is that biting insects react more strongly to different smells:
- Carbon dioxide: Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes are mainly attracted to CO2, so they prefer to fly around your head. The concentration of carbon dioxide is highest near your nose and mouth, so you will hear annoying buzzing noises all night long.
- Blood type 0: According to a Japanese study, people with blood type 0 are almost twice as likely to be stung as people with blood type A. The reason why blood group 0 is so attractive to insects is not yet clear.
- Sweat and high body temperature: Sweat is highly valued by insects because it contains lactic acid, ammonium, fatty acids and other compounds. In addition, fever increases production, so mosquitoes have two reasons to watch you.
- Bacteria on the skin: There are bacteria that attract mosquitoes. Interestingly, biting insects are less likely to seek out people with high levels of bacteria. They prefer less mixed, large and stable colonies of bacteria that can be easily controlled. Such colonies are found, for example, on the feet, which are a preferred stinging site.
- Pregnant women: This is thought to be because pregnant women have a high body temperature and exhale more carbon dioxide. Both factors are favourable for mosquitoes.
- Alcohol: If you meet up with friends, drink beer and get bitten frequently after the meeting, it may be because of the alcohol. The reason why mosquitoes prefer ethanol in their blood is not yet fully understood.
As you can see, it is not a good idea to turn off the lights when the windows are open. Exhaled carbon dioxide and other odours ensure that insects find their way to you. That is why it is important to have good protection, for example in the form of mosquito nets.
Why are tiger mosquitoes dangerous?
There are about 50 mosquito species in Germany, most of which are harmless. But a few years ago, the Asian tiger mosquito arrived in the country. The insects have probably travelled long distances to get into the country, and the higher average temperatures allow them to survive. What is the problem with the tiger mosquito?
The bite is the same as a pet bite. The area is slightly swollen and itchy. The problem is that the tiger mosquito can transmit up to 20 different viruses. One of the most dangerous diseases is dengue fever, which can kill weakened people. There are also many other pathogens that can make animals sick, such as yellow fever and the Zika virus.
Can mosquito plugs be dangerous for my pets?
Electric mosquito bugs emit a toxin that can be ingested by humans and pets. Because it is a low concentration, the effects have not yet been studied. With ultrasonic devices, animals can sense the sound.
Therefore, watch your pets and remove the mosquito trap if their behaviour changes. Light traps can burn your pet; large insects are especially attractive to cats.
Have you heard of an ultrasonic mosquito trap?
The devices emit an average of 20 to 60 kilohertz. Humans can detect sound waves of about 16 kilohertz. Babies, toddlers and young adults can hear sounds up to 21 kilohertz. They can therefore detect an ultrasound device and treat it as a disturbance.
Where can I buy mosquito repellent?
You can find mosquito repellents in most pharmacies and supermarkets, DIY stores or garden centres. Some shops give individual advice and rate the products. As mosquitoes are sometimes in a hurry, it is best to use them right away in the evening. There is a larger selection on sales platforms such as Amazon or Ebay. You can find many combinations of filling offers there. You can shop from the comfort of your sofa and get the protection within a few days. Compared to buying locally, you can get an idea of the effect online from customer reviews before you buy.
How much does a mosquito repellent product cost?
Electric sprays are cheap because you only need to buy one plug. Keep in mind the following costs for charging. Ultrasonic devices and high-voltage light traps tend to be more expensive, but when refilling, you don’t have to worry about ongoing costs other than electricity. Compared to other mosquito repellents, repellents are among the cheapest, even though they use electricity.
Is there a Stiftung Warentest for mosquito repellents?
Most people trust the advice of Stiftung Warentest, so we asked about their mosquito repellent test. Since the consumer portal has not yet tested any electric mosquito repellents, you can find a test from May 2017 on tick and mosquito repellents below.
At that time, Stiftung Warentest tested 14 tick and mosquito repellents. Some were only effective against ticks, but most were combination products that fought both bloodsuckers. The consumer portal focused on the protective function and Stiftung Warentest conducted several tests with the participants.
In addition, the overall evaluation focused on health, handling, declaration and tissue protection. The study showed that most products offered good protection. Two products had no effect on mosquitoes and ticks. If you want to test repellents against ticks and mosquitoes, you can find the results and some tips on this topic here.
Has Öko Test ever tested mosquito repellents?
While searching on the consumer portal’s website, we found an article from July 2019 about mosquitoes. In it, Öko Test addresses the danger and toxicity of mosquitoes. Nine devices were tested on the consumer portal. Among them were sprays and ultrasonic devices. If you want to know more about the effects on humans, you can see the results of the paid mosquito control here.
Sources and purchase recommendations at a glance
Our mosquito repellent buying recommendation at a glance:
- Best cordless grinder: Buying advice for cordless angle grinders - November 18, 2022
- The best electric staplers on the market: our selection - November 18, 2022
- The best couple vibrators in the test - September 26, 2022