DEET vs. Picaridin for Use Against Mosquitoes
Picaridin and DEET are the two most common chemicals found in mosquito repellents. So which one does the job better? Here are the benefits and shortcomings of both top mosquito repellents:
- DEET has been a popular choice for decades. It was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s. Although it has been heavily criticized before, DEET has been approved by the EPA after finding showed that it does not pose a health risk. Blends containing 10 to 30% DEET have been proven to create up to 12 hours of protection from mosquitoes. Do keep in mind, though, that DEET can cause damage to plastic and synthetic gear.
- Picaridin is effective against lots of different insects, including ticks and flies. It has a very light odor, no effect on plastics, and is a popular alternative to DEET. They have comparable protective qualities, but picaridin is considered to be more effective against flies.
Are Mosquito Repellents Safe to Use?
When shopping for a mosquito repellent, it is important to choose EPA-approved products. Most repellents in stores are composed of 10-30% DEET or up to 20% picaridin. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label when using insect repellent on your own. Consult your pediatrician about the use of mosquito repellents on children. EPA-approved products should be safe when they are put to use properly.
How to Apply Mosquito Repellent
No matter your mosquito repellent of choice, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some repellents need to be reapplied after a certain period of time to ensure that their effects continue to hold. It is also recommended to conduct skin patch tests to know for certain that you will have no reaction to your chosen repellent. Always ask a medical professional any questions you have about using mosquito repellents.