If you've lived anywhere with mozzies and midges, you will have been on the hunt for the best mosquito repellent Australia has available. This was exactly what we did when we lived up in Darwin. I am pretty confident we tried almost every repellent on the market to try and find a product we were happy to apply on our family every day. Here are our top five Australia mosquito repellent brands and what we did and didn't like about them!
RID is a classic Aussie insect repellent brand and they are certified Australian made and owned - we love a good Aussie business! But that was where the love affair stopped for us.
Lots of people swear by RID and claim that it is the best mosquito repellent, but unfortunately we didn't have a whole lot of success with RID up in Darwin - the boys were still getting smashed by midges and sandflies and our youngest would scratch himself raw during the night. We also found we had to reapply multiple times a day to keep away the mozzies which is not ideal given it's a DEET-based product as DEET shouldn't be applied more than once per day. We weren't big fans of the smell and feel of the product either.
My biggest issue with RID, however, was that it contains an antiseptic; specifically, triclosan. Triclosan has the potential to create cross-resistance to other antimicrobials and a number of bacteria have already developed a resistance to triclosan itself. We really weren't keen on using an antimicrobial product all over our bodies every day and contributing to the rise of anti-microbial resistance.
BuzzPatch is one of the latest insect repellent trends. It's a small sticker coated in citronella that you apply to your clothes that is supposed to protect your entire body from mozzies.
I can see the appeal: you protect your kids without actually applying anything to their skin and I suppose this would be a great mosquito repellent option for babies under 3 months. But at the end of the day, BuzzPatch just didn't do it for us. Maybe it was just the Darwin mozzies, but there was no way that a small amount of citronella oil on a sticker was going to keep them at bay.
We looove MooGoo products so of course we had to give their Tail Swat Body Spray a go. As with all of their products, the ingredient list is not too bad (though it does contain some synthetic ingredients if that is an issue for you) and the smell of the product isn't awful either, by insect repellent standards.
Unfortunately the lemongrass essential oil means that it's not safe for children under the age of 2 because it is a skin sensitiser. That also means it can be an issue for sensitive skin, or damaged skin (ie broken skin from scratching bites). We've also found it doesn't last very long - probably because the lemongrass oil is quite volatile and the product is not heavy enough to hold it onto your skin.
Officially, Tail Swat is not actually an insect repellent as they haven't registered the product with the APVMA but I had to include this one on our list as it is quite a popular brand here in Australia. Unfortunately, not the product for us!
Nature's Botanical is a DEET-free, rosemary and cedarwood based insect repellent. They have the product available in a few different forms including a creme, spray and roll on. Overall, it's a pretty great product. The ingredients are wonderful and I didn't have any concerns with applying it multiple times a day on our boys. Most importantly, it works really well, especially against flies. Unfortunately, the smell is really strong and earthy. I wasn't a fan of wearing it out in public. But if you don't mind the smell, we highly recommend Nature's Botanical! I would say it is up there with some of the best mosquito repellent products on the market.
When my search for the best mosquito repellent Australia wide turned a little lacklustre, I decided to make my own. Good Riddance Insect Repellent is the result of more than two years of product development and testing up in Darwin and Kakadu. But after all that work, I think I can safely say that we have created Australia's best mosquito repellent! Good Riddance smells and feels great, and most importantly, it's really good at protecting you from the mozzies, midges and sandflies! All of the ingredients are safe to use every day, it's DEET free, triclosan free and we've had it independently tested to make sure it does what it says it does. We've also just transitioned over to recyclable, biodegradable tubes which are not only a more sustainable option, they're also convenient to use and carry around with you.