Skip Nav
Weight Loss
Yes, You Can Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 2 Months (and Keep It Off) — Here's How
Fitness Gear
21 Cute and Cozy Workout Clothes to Keep You From Freezing This Winter
Gifts For Men
Help the Fitness Fanatic in Your Life Chill Out and Gift Them Some Sloth Gear
Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Second Kidney Transplant 2018
Sarah Hyland
Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Her Second Kidney Transplant: "It's a Really Helpless Feeling"
How to Consume Cannabis
Marijuana
The Basics of Consuming Cannabis — For Total Rookies

Is DEET Safe?

Beat the Bugs: DEET vs. Picaridin vs. All-Natural Bug Spray

I seem to be a magnet for mosquitoes. Whether I'm trail running or just hanging out at a friend's backyard barbecue, those suckers find me and start a feeding frenzy. If you too constantly suffer from the stinging bites of skeeters, you're probably wondering which bug spray will work the best without causing your body harm.

To find out, continue reading.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using an insect repellent that contains active ingredients that are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Those containing DEET and picaridin are the most effective and long-lasting, especially when concentrations of each ingredient are higher. According to the EPA, when used as directed for expected short-term (not long-term) use, these two chemicals aren't harmful to us. It's best to read labels and choose a product that fits your needs. There's no reason to use a 98 percent DEET spray that offers protection for 10 hours if you're only going to be outside for a short walk in the woods. A 10 percent concentration should protect you for about two hours. Lightly apply spray on exposed skin and clothing, and avoid overapplication (no need to douse yourself in OFF). When you come inside, wash the repellent off your skin.

If you're concerned about using chemicals on your body, there are many all-natural products available, such as Herbal Armor. If you look at those labels, you'll see ingredients such as oil of citronella, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and oil of geranium. These plant-based products may offer protection that is comparable to low concentrations of DEET products, so they definitely aren't the most effective. You may end up reapplying these products more often than directed.

You can further protect yourself by wearing light-colored clothing, long sleeves, pants, and socks, and by applying permethrin-containing mosquito repellent to your clothes.

From Our Partners
How to Start a Bullet Journal For Your Fitness Goals
Why I Don't Want to Lose Weight in the New Year
Kourtney Kardashian's Avocado Pudding Review
Free Fitness Apps
Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Second Kidney Transplant 2018
Best Body Massagers 2018
2019 Fitness Planners
Natural Congestion Relief
What Happens When You Turn Off Your Phone For a Week?
Trader Joe's Vegan Holiday Foods
Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe
Healthy Gift Ideas That Aren't Offensive
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds