DEET as an Active Ingredient
kids in a bike trailer

DEET as an Active Ingredient

DEET Safety

“DEET has a remarkable safety profile after 40 years of use and nearly 8 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, Ph.D.
Read the complete article on DEET safety.

Recommended Products

The most effective repellents contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). The more DEET a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you from mosquito bites.

A higher percentage of DEET in a repellent does not mean that your protection is better—just that it will last longer.

DEET concentrations higher than 50% do not increase the length of protection.

Based on a Recent Study

  • A product containing 23.8% DEET provided an average of 5 hours of protection from mosquito bites.
  • A product containing 20% DEET provided almost 4 hours of protection.
  • A product with 6.65% DEET provided almost 2 hours of protection.
  • Products with 4.75% DEET or 2% soybean oil provide roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours of protection.

Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors. A higher percentage of DEET should be used if you will be outdoors for several hours, while a lower percentage of DEET can be used if time outdoors will be limited. You should also re-apply a product if you are outdoors for a longer time than expected, before you start to be bitten by mosquitoes.

Contact Us

Vector Control Program

Main: 303-441-1564
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