7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Pexels
7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand

© Pexels

The Best (and Most Eco-Friendly) Mosquito and Sandfly Repellents for New Zealand

A trip to New Zealand often inspires travellers to protect nature, even if it sometimes bites. Let us set you off on your New Zealand journey on the right track with this list of the best insect repellents for New Zealand, which are also kinder to you and the environment.

While New Zealand does have mosquitos, it’s the sandflies which are the biggest pain, prolific in the summer months around water, the coast, in the grass, and hell, just about anywhere. We give some recommendations on how to stop sandfly bites here, but the most effective way we find is to wear some sort of insect repellent.

Check out the list below of the best insect repellent for New Zealand, for you and the planet.

1. REPEL Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Spray

Completely DEET-free (which is better for you and especially children) this insect repellent is one of the most-reviewed eco-friendly insect repellents on Amazon and is a popular insect brand sold in New Zealand. This REPEL spray uses lemon and eucalyptus oils (OLE) to repel sandflies, mosquitoes and other bugs. It smells great and is not too greasy, which means that it should not stain your clothing over time.

Check out REPEL Insect Repellent Spray here.

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Amazon

2. Badger Anti-Bug Sprays and Balms

Available in limited stores in New Zealand, this one is usually best to bring from home. Badger’s sprays and balms are made with organic ingredients – the active ingredients being the organic oils of soybean, castor, citronella, cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, geranium and peppermint to keep the mosquitoes and sandflies at bay. What we love the most, however, is how some of their packagings are in an aluminium bottle or tin which is easier to recycle in New Zealand. Check out more ways to be green on your trip here with the 31 Ways to Travel More Sustainably in New Zealand.

Browse the Badger store on Amazon.

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Amazon


A brand found in New Zealand pharmacies and on international websites like Amazon, PARA’KITO makes products to repel insects without having to spray yourself. Choose from stylish to subtle wristbands and clips that use refillable pellets made from natural essential oils that are DEET free, no animal testing, phthalates-free, paraben-free and dermatologically tested. For more travel health advice for New Zealand, check out our Medical & Health Insurance category.

Browse the PARA’KITO store on Amazon.

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Amazon

4. SallyeAnder No-Bite-Me Insect Repellent Soap

It’s true, we tend to put on our insect repellent when it’s too late. If you’re the forgetful sort, then you might find insect repelling soap, like SallyeAnder No-Bite-Me Soap more useful. Repel sandflies, mosquitos, fleas and ticks with this insect repellent soap that’s paraben-free, DEET-free and alcohol-free. It is so safe it can even be used on infants. The list of active ingredients is quite impressive making a powerful insect repellent: eugenol and oils from cedar, lemongrass, geranium, mint, thyme, clove, and rosemary. Plus, relax knowing that the packaging is a mere paper bag.

Check out the Sallyander No Bite Me Soap store on Amazon!

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Amazon

5. TerraShield Outdoor Blend Essential Oil

Using one or two drops on your legs, arms, neck, etc., this essential oil blend is a powerful barrier and is totally natural. Use TerraShield Essential Oil with a diffuser to protect a whole room or pack it in your day pack to use on the go. The essential oil is safe for the whole family, but if your skin is particularly sensitive, you can dilute the oil with other oils such as coconut oil.

Check out the TerraShield Essential Oil here.

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Amazon

6. Insect Repellent Clothing

Of course, wearing clothing that covers your skin is the most eco-friendly way to protect yourself against insect bites with less waste involved. However, there are clothes specially designed to keep the bugs at bay if you want that extra protection. For instance, this Power Dry Insect Repelling Shirt consists of odourless permethrin sprayed over the fabric, as well as SPF40 sun protection. Alternatively, these BugsAway Leggings are comfortable to travel in and are made with a treatment that repels bugs that last for up to 70 washes. For more useful gear to pack for New Zealand, check out our New Zealand Packing List: What to Pack for New Zealand.

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Amazon

7. Alternative Ways to Avoid Sandfly and Mosquito Bites

Finally, there are alternative ways to avoid mosquito bites without relying on insect repellents and similar products. Wearing long-sleeved clothing, avoiding the summer season and making sure you keep on moving if you’re doing a hike, for instance, are all alternative precautions to take. It’s worth checking out our 7 Ways to Stop Sandfly Bites for more options!

7 Best Insect Repellents for New Zealand© Pexels

Frequently Asked Questions About Insect Repellent in New Zealand

What are the questions most people have about insect repellents in New Zealand? Find out in this section and see if your question is answered too.

Do You Need Insect Repellent in New Zealand?

You do need insect repellent in New Zealand if you want to avoid bites from sandflies and mosquitos. Although mosquitos don’t carry any diseases in New Zealand, the bites left by mosquitos and sandflies can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable, giving you good reason to use some sort of protection against insect bites.

What is Wrong with DEET Repellents?

Although DEET repellents are effective against mosquito and sandfly bites, they can be harmful to the skin if there are concentrations of 30% or more. They especially shouldn’t be used on children or infants. DEET is also toxic to bird and aquatic life, although you’re unlikely to affect wildlife with DEET insect spray unless you leave your rubbish in nature, we find that certain oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) repellents are a much safer yet still effective alternative.

More About Insect Repellents for New Zealand

That’s it for our advice on the best insect repellents for New Zealand. For more health tips for your trip, check out these:

Finally, don’t forget to check out more ways to keep bugs at bay with the 7 Ways to Stop Sandfly Bites.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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