Mosquitoes and ticks spread more disease and destruction throughout the world than any other animal. Even if you don’t get an infected bite or a transmitted disease, bites are still itchy and irritating. If you live in a humid and damp area, the summer might be completely ruined by the number of insects around.
For the past half century, the most commonly used ingredient in insect repellent has been DEET. In fact, it used to be the only CDC-approved ingredient to repel insects. The FDA has approved the use of DEET in everyone except infants under the age of two months old, assuming they aren’t exposed to large concentrations of the chemical. This includes ingesting it or getting it in the eyes.
There are some health concerns that have been raised about DEET, though. Many health agencies consider the chemical safe. A great deal of research has been done, and there haven’t been significant health consequences linked to DEET usage in low concentrations. That said, overexposure to DEET can lead to neurological issues, and it’s possible for people to develop allergic reactions to the chemical, though this is exceedingly uncommon.
Health concerns aren’t the only reason that some people prefer to avoid DEET. DEET is notorious for having an extremely strong odor for humans and mosquitoes alike. It functions by confusing the sensory receptors of mosquitoes with a barrier of sense blockage. But to do this, the chemical emits a smell that’s best known as, simply, the “bug spray smell.”
Some people have more sensitive noses than others and can’t abide the smell. Others experience skin reactions because their skin is sensitive to synthetic chemical compounds. Another issue is that DEET can sometimes damage and degrade materials like clothing, fishing line, backpacks, hunting gear, and other necessities.
Whatever the reason, you might be wondering if there are alternatives to DEET.
The answer: Yes!
Read moreBest Non Deet Mosquito Repellent