About DEET sprays
What is a DEET bug spray?
First of all, DEET, chemically known as N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, is one of the most active ingredients you would find in many bug and insect repellents. It is hugely known to successfully keep insects like ticks, mosquitoes and at bay and is used by a large percentage of people to keep from being infected with malaria, Lyme disease, and even the Zika virus. There is a myriad of products which contain DEET for repelling purposes such as creams, lotions, and sprays.
So a DEET bug spray is an active and effective repellent for bugs and insects, making you unattractive and even repulsive to them. However, there are a number of things to keep in mind to make your choice easier so let us take a look at what makes for the best DEET bug spray and why you should use one.
Some interesting facts about DEET bug sprays
- Any DEET bug spray only repels insects – it does not kill them. Some people go to the market and purchase a DEET spray with the hopes that it would kill insects but if you buy one because you have heard that DEET is effective, you have to know that its effectiveness is only in repelling insects, not in killing them. Imagine how poisonous a spray would have to be before it can kill an insect on your skin or clothes. That would mean it would equally be harmful to you. No, DEET only repels but rest assured that you would get results
- A bug spray containing a small percentage of DEET does not mean it is less potent for insects than that containing a large percentage. It has nothing to do with how effective it is. Do not make your choice based on this; make it based on what needs you have. If a bug spray contains a small amount of DEET, it only means it can remain active for a fewer number of hours than that with a larger percentage. But for those hours, it would be as effective as that with the bigger volume of DEET
- If it is just mosquitoes you want to keep off your body, you are covered with a DEET bug spray. But do not believe the rumor that DEET is effective in repelling only mosquitoes; it does much more than that. If you have different types of insects you need to handle, especially if you are an outdoorsy person, a DEET bug spray would equally take care of them as well as it would mosquitoes
Can I use DEET spray on my kids?
Bug sprays with DEET as the active ingredient are safe to be used for your kids. Because it is a chemical, most people hesitate to use it for children but you should know that so many repellent lotions and creams which campers and hikers use contain mainly DEET and they are applied directly to the skin. If you read the instructions properly and apply them first to your hands before putting on the skin of your children, they are safe. So there is no need to worry about having to use a bug spray with DEET for your kids. It is safe for them. Be sure, though, to read the labels carefully first before using
Why should you use a DEET bug spray?
It is safe
So your first proof of reliability is the safety. DEET has been used as an insect repellent since 1946 since it was first discovered by the Army. It was developed solely to be used on human beings and animals without proving harmful in the long run. Considering that there are many situations that people may find themselves, deliberately or inadvertently, which would warrant exposure to biting insects, the necessity for a repellent which can be directly applicable to the skin arose.
There are others but DEET seems to be the standard and has not failed. Even your kids are safe with DEET, as long as you read instructions carefully and apply it yourself.
It is effective
A DEET bug spray is better, especially for the outdoors than a lotion or cream with it because you do not stand the chance of getting sticky. Lotions may end up being uncomfortable because of stickiness on your skin but you do not have to encounter that with a spray.
Again, as has been mentioned before, there are a number of ingredients which naturally repel insects out there but most of them do not last for long.
A DEET spray with a concentration of as low as 7% would take you for as long as 90 minutes from first application while some others may start wearing out after the first 10-20 minutes.
It is eco-friendly
Everyone is keen to keep the environment safe and healthy because nobody appreciates the effect of harmful chemicals to the air, land, and plants. A DEET spray, though, was made with these in mind. If it does not harm a person, how would it harm the environment? It’s not toxic except for those who have been known to react negatively to it. This does not mean that there is something innately wrong with DEET; allergies occur even with the most naturally-occurring things.
It is easily available
DEET bug sprays can be found everywhere. Because of the need it solves, it has been made readily available in different stores for easy access. You do not have to drive cross-country in order to find a DEET spray tailored to fit your needs. However, read the instructions carefully before you buy.
DEET bug spray usage tips
- It is necessary to be sure you do not have any allergy to DEET before you decide to use a DEET bug spray. It is a great way to go in terms of repelling biting insects but if you have a history of allergies or you easily react to substances, check before buying. Do not be in a rush into it
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to be careful where you apply it and how you apply it. Do not let your baby lick it off your skin and check with your doctor before starting. As safe as it is, it may not sit well with your body when it is fragile
- Do not apply DEET bug spray to broken skin or underneath your clothes. It is good to be used on clothes but on top of them. Putting it on your skin and then putting on clothes may cause rashes. Only apply on exposed skin for safety. And if any part of your exposed skin has a wound, do not let the spray touch it. It is only meant for external use
- It is not safe to be used on babies. If you have a baby less than 6 months, do not use this bug spray on them. It would be safer if you just do not take them to places where they stand the chance of being bitten by insects. Their skin is still too fragile and may not handle DEET well