How to choose a mosquito repellent

Category: Advice, Interesting


It is quite common for small bugs to carry big diseases, so to speak. Take for instance the tick. It can cause Lyme disease and typhus. Flies, fleas, and other minute creepy-crawlies also carry and transmit disease-causing microorganisms and parasites to humans, like filariasis, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease, to name a few. These conditions are serious and are often fatal if a victim does not receive medical intervention as soon as possible. Apart from all these bugs, another dreaded creature is the mosquito. This small, flying, blood-sucking animal alone can spread insidious viruses, parasites and bacteria that cause malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and different forms of encephalitis which is a condition wherein the brain becomes inflamed. 

There are various methods that you can use to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes and other dangerous bugs. One way is to use repellents. But many are hesitant to use repellent creams or lotions frequently, especially on kids, because they wonder if these are safe to use every day. So, how do you choose a bug repellent? Below are some issues that you have to be familiar with.

1. Know What DEET Is

When it comes to mosquito or other bug repellents, the most common products in the market today can be classified into two broad categories – with DEET or without DEET. First of all, what is DEET? This is a chemical scientifically known as diethyl toluamide, and it is used as an insect repellent. Is it safe? Experts and the EPA believe that DEET-based products provide the best protection against mosquitoes and many other bugs. The EPA does not have restrictions about the percentage or amount of DEET in products as well. All in all, DEET-containing repellents are fairly safe.

2. Understand Why Some Prefer Repellents without DEET

Some feel that products containing DEET cause bad side effects. But medical experts and government agencies that regulate the manufacturing and marketing of insect repellents with DEET state that items that contain this chemical are safe to use even on young kids.

3. Determine What Repellent is Best for Your Needs

Choosing a bug repellent is really all up to you. If a DEET-based repellent works for you, that’s okay. Go for OFF! Deep Woods or Cutter All Family Mosquito Repellent if you like. If you feel uncomfortable about regularly using repellents containing DEET, you can go for DEET-free products, such as Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Insect Repellent or OFF! Botanicals Plant Based Insect Repellent.

4. Be Aware of the DEET Percentage

When you are choosing an insect repellent, you’ll notice that some have a higher DEET percentage while others have less. So, how does that affect the level of protection? Is it better to use a product with 30% DEET than one with just 7.5% DEET? Not necessarily. Some believe that the higher the DEET, the more concentrated the product is. This is not true. This only means that a repellent that has 30% DEET will last longer than one with a lower DEET percentage. Because of this, don’t slather on a repellent with 25% or 30% DEET on your child if he is just going to be outdoors for an hour. Opt for one with lower DEET.

This article was contributed by Claire Lassiter. Many of her blogs about common household pests have been used by Rove Pest Control and other companies in the same business.

12 Mar

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