5 Common Mistakes When Using Insect Repellent

5 Common Mistakes When Using Insect Repellent

Jun 20, 2024Nicky Monina

Heading to a place swarming with mosquitoes? Many travellers make common blunders with insect repellent, leaving them vulnerable to bites and diseases like dengue and Zika. Let’s break down the top mistakes and how to avoid them, so you can enjoy your summer getaway without the itch!

  1. Leaving Your Repellent Purchase to the Last Minute

Mistake: Racing to the airport or scrambling at your destination to buy insect repellent.

Solution: Plan ahead! Many countries don’t stock effective insect repellents, so it’s best to get yours before you travel. Stock up on a good quality mosquito repellent. Our flagship and award-winning incognito® Insect Repellent is the perfect product to provide 100% protection for 4 hours. Don’t risk it – buy your protection in advance to ensure you have something reliable!

  1. Not Covering Up

Mistake: Forgetting the basics of covering up and leaving skin exposed.

Solution: When it comes to mosquitoes, more is more. Wear long sleeves and trousers, and choose light-coloured, loose clothing. Mosquitoes are drawn to dark colours, so light shades are your best bet. If you’re heading into the thick of it, soak your clothes in a mix of 10-20 drops of incognito’s Java citronella oil (not the cheaper, less effective C. nardus) diluted in water. Leave them to soak for 15 minutes for an extra layer of defence.

  1. Forgetting About Fragrances

Mistake: Spraying on perfumes or using scented toiletries that make you more attractive to mosquitoes.

Solution: Those lovely scents in your cosmetics? They’re like a mosquito magnet. Switch to unscented products like our incognito Bodycare Range and opt for a citrus-aromatic hair and body wash. Plus, make sure to use a natural loofah to exfoliate every other day. Unlike synthetic scrubs, a loofah’s microscopic hairs help remove dirt and detritus that mosquitoes find irresistible.

  1. Skipping the Reapplication

Mistake: Thinking one dab of insect repellent will keep you protected all day.

Solution: Insect repellent needs some love and attention! Reapply incognito’s range of clinically proven insect repellents every 4-5 hours, or whenever you wash your hands or take a dip. Keeping that protection level high is key. Remember, no mosquito repellent lasts forever, so make it a habit to top up your layers of defence.

  1. Overlooking Your Protection Level

Mistake: Underestimating the risk and not using the right level of protection for your destination.

Solution: Know your risk level! For high-risk areas, you need strong protection. Whether you’re in the dense jungle or just a sunny beachside, make sure your repellent is up to the task. Plus, using ambient protection in addition to your main insect repellent during peak mosquito activity times, such as dawn and dusk, is an effective addition.

Extra Tip: Prepare Before You Go!

Many people overlook this step, but it’s crucial. Before you jet off, use a natural loofah to scrub away dirt and dead skin cells, clearing those pores. Mosquitoes and other biting insects are often drawn to the grime and oils on your skin. A good exfoliation can help keep you less appealing to these pesky critters.


Avoiding these common pitfalls will boost your protection against mosquito bites and the diseases they carry. So, remember to plan ahead, cover up, steer clear of fragrances, reapply your insect repellent regularly, and choose the right level of protection for your destination. With these savvy tips, you can enjoy your summer travels bite-free, with nothing but fun in the sun!

Stay safe, stay protected, and let those mosquitoes know you mean business! 


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