What's the deal with DEET?


Statistics show that approximately 30% of Americans use DEET containing bug sprays each year. DEET is in many popular bug repelling products, and in some cases in 100% concentration. While many aren’t concerned with the safety of DEET, there are reasons to be cautious and avoid it.

DEET is absorbed into the skin, and can cause major health issues and even death. Children are considered more susceptible, as their skin more readily absorbs chemicals. DEET has been shown to cause harm to the brain and nervous system. The following list (acquired from poison control centers) includes the most frequently reported symptoms of DEET toxicity: lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions. In addition, a Duke University Medical Center study found that prolonged exposure to DEET impairs brain function, resulting in behavioral changes and even death of rats, used as subjects in the study. Some of the potential side effects of DEET are: headache, memory loss, muscle and joint pain, shortness of breath, and tremors.

Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, the good news is, there are safe alternatives that make DEET obsolete. Many studies have found natural alternatives to be effective. Oils such as citronella, cinnamon leaf, catnip, and lemon eucalyptus, are just as effective (and in many cases, more effective) than DEET, at repelling mosquitos.

Our Outdoorsy Box, that is perfect for camping, tailgating, hunting, day hikes, and sporting activities, includes Certified Organic and DEET-Free bug spray and bug balm. You can view and purchase safe and effective bug repelling products (see below). 

There are additional precautions that can be taken to help reduce mosquitos. Stay indoors from dusk to dawn when they are most active, dress in light and loose fitting clothing, keep cool (as it lessens your attraction), reduce standing water, stay away from bushes and tall grasses, use a fan when outdoors (it inhibits their ability to fly and land in the immediate area), and consume garlic regularly.

*No content on our website should be considered or construed as medical advice. Please consult a physician for questions regarding your health and wellbeing.

Elizabeth Hood