Abstract Laboratory tests of commercial repellent formulations were conducted against Anopheles farauti Laveran, Culex annulirostris Skuse, Ochlerotatus vigilax (Skuse) and Stegomyia aegypti (L.). The majority of repellent formulations tested contain N,N,-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (also known as diethyl-m-toluamide, commonly called deet). Two formulations containing picaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylate acid, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester, also known as KBR 3023), one containing ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate (EBAP) and two formulations containing essential oils (e.g. Citronella oil) were also tested. In the laboratory tests, repellent formulations containing deet provided the best protection, and picaridin and EBAP also provided good protection. Citronella oil provided only limited protection. Two field trials to compare commercially available repellent formulations containing picaridin and deet against mosquitoes at Redcliffe, Queensland, were conducted. In the first, Autan Repel, containing 9.3% picaridin, RID, containing 10% deet, and Bushman Ultra, containing 80% deet in a gel, were compared. In the second, Autan Repel Army 20, containing 19.2% picaridin, OFF! Skintastic, containing 7% deet, and Aerogard, containing 12% deet, were compared. The predominant mosquito in both tests was Cx. annulirostris. Bushman provided >95% protection against all mosquitoes for at least 8 h when tests ceased. The other deet repellents also provided good protection against mosquitoes, with RID providing 5 h, Skintastic 4 h and Aerogard 2 h protection. The Autan repel (9.3% picaridin) provided >95% protection for 3 h, and Autan Repel Army (19.2% picaridin) provided 4 h protection. These studies have shown that commercial formulations of both deet and picaridin provide good protection against Cx. annulirostris, an important vector of arboviruses in Australia.