The most effective repellants contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). The more DEET a repellant contains, the longer it can protect you from mosquito bites.
- Alternatives to DEET
- DEET as an Active Ingredient
- Determining Repellent Effectiveness
- Other Mosquito Prevention Products
- DEET Products & Alternatives
DEET Repellent Safety
“DEET has a remarkable safety profile after 40 years of use and nearly eight billion human applications. No correlation has been found between the concentration of DEET used and the risk of toxic effects. When applied with common sense, DEET-based repellents can be expected to provide a safe as well as a long-lasting repellent effect.”
– New England Journal of Medicine, July 4, 2002, authored by Mark S. Fradin, M.D. and John F. Day
DEET Use & Pregnant Women
Yes, pregnant woman can use DEET products. If you are pregnant and have additional questions, you should consult with your OB/GYN.
DEET & Children
DEET can be safely used to protect children over three months of age, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellants used on children contain no more than 30% DEET.
In addition, the AAP recommends that you apply DEET sparingly on exposed skin, and do not use under clothing.
Do not use DEET on the hands of young children; avoid applying to areas around the eyes and mouth. Do not use DEET over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin. Wash treated skin with soap and water after returning indoors; wash treated clothing. Avoid spraying in enclosed areas; do not use DEET near food.
Insect Repellent Shelf Life
Most DEET-enhanced insect repellent products have a shelf life of two years. However, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s directions since effectiveness can depend on the product itself.
The non-DEET repellent, Bite Blocker, has a shelf life of about one year.
Mosquito Magnet Effectiveness
Mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide when searching for food. The mosquito magnet releases carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes where they are trapped.
In theory, this seems to be very reasonable; however, placing a mosquito magnet in your yard may attract mosquitoes away from your home, but at the same time attract mosquitoes from neighboring properties. Eventually you are still likely to get bitten.
It is important to continue taking preventive measures and follow the 4 Ds, even when using a mosquito magnet.