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It works... if there is no wind and you aren't moving. As soon as you are no longer stationary best to move onto something else, I use a Lemon Eucalyptus based product. Deet works great, but anything that can eat through plastic I tend to avoid. Lemon Eucalyptus works great but tends to attract bees and has a strong odor even more so than deet products.
Any product that contains DEET. I use Off, but don't rely on my recommendation, listen to this guy:
Originally Posted by marshallkarp
I've always used Off
If you don't believe him--and I guess there's no reason that you should--Consumer Reports also recommends it:
Originally Posted by Consumer Reports
What we found. Hours of protection correlated with deet concentration. The top-rated Deep Woods Off is 98 percent deet, and several products with 30 to 34 percent deet were very good, protecting for an average of at least five hours. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found deet safe when used according to directions (not under clothing, in an open cut, or with sunscreen), but some people dislike its scent or feel. Use the lowest concentration that works, especially on kids, and don't use deet on infants.
CR's take. Products containing at least 30 percent deet worked very well; most of the botanicals we tested were middling or worse.
I agree with you that insects can be a real issue on the Belize atolls. We were fine at Turneffe Island Resort until the wind died down one day--and then the mosquitos and flies were fierce. Everything I've read casts doubt on the efficacy of most botanicals, and in Skin-So-Soft, which is often cited as an effective repellent. I have used Repel, though, which is a eucalyptus product, and it seemed to work well.