Originally developed for the United States Army,
DEET is the active ingredient found in many
mosquito, fly, and tick repellents on the US market.
How does DEET work?
DEET is believed to work by affecting the scent receptors in biting insects, making it difficult for them to recognize you as a source of food. As a result, DEET is an ideal repellent for areas with medium to high mosquito activity. Currently DEET is registered as a personal insect repellent for direct application to the skin. It can be used on both adults and children. In addition to this, DEET is one of two active ingredients listed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in products to repel potentially disease carrying mosquitoes and ticks.
Generally, the more DEET a product contains the longer it lasts. Higher concentrations of DEET work well during activities that involve being outside in mosquito infested areas for an extended period of time, while lower percentages work well for activities that keep you outside for only a few hours.
Alternatives to DEET
While DEET can provide effective, reliable protection from mosquitoes, non- DEET alternatives are also available. Below is a list of popular alternatives to DEET and their potential benefits.
A repellent with a plant-based ingredient, such as p-menthane-3,8-diol, provides effective, dependable protection for up to 2 hours.
- Recommended Product: OFF! Botanicals® Insect Repellents
Learn More About DEET
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