“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.
- Alternatives to DEET
- DEET as an Active Ingredient
- Determining Repellent Effectiveness
- Other Mosquito Prevention Products
- DEET Products & Alternatives
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.