Picture this: you are deep in the Canadian Rockies, Bushwacking your way through a thick forest as you are pestered by a cloud of mosquitoes. You reach into your bag and pull out the insect repellant, then covering yourself head to toe with the aerosol spray. Seems like a viable solution, right?
Sure, you will likely find yourself bothered by mosquitoes in your backyard while you grill than you are to be bothered by mosquitoes in the wilderness, but that is beside the point. For decades, people have reached for that green aerosol can at the first sign of mosquitoes — never even thinking about what they are putting on their body.
For the last couple of decades, DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) has been the most common active ingredient in pest protection sprays, and more recently, people have begun to wonder just how great DEET really is.
What Is Deet?
Deet is a pest repellant that was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 to protect soldiers from insects in tropical areas. In 1957, DEET became available to the public and quickly became a popular pest repellent option.
There are a wide variety of products that contain DEET, with over 30% of all the pest repellants on the market being made using it as the active ingredient. In the United States, you can buy pest repellent products that contain DEET in the form of liquids, sprays, lotions, and sticks.
How Does DEET Work?
DEET is an interesting compound because scientists still don’t know how it works on all insects. That being said, it is the most common theory that the insects are thrown off by the chemical and are then unable to locate the person that the chemical has been applied to.
Is DEET Safe? — The Question On Everyone’s Mind
When it comes to DEET based products, the answer to the question “are they safe?” might seem to be a little unclear. In fact, like most chemicals that are used in products, you have to take the answer with a grain of salt.
DEET exposure occurs when it contacts your skin, contacts your eyes, is ingested, or is inhaled. While it is a chemical, and exposure is almost guaranteed, it really affects everyone in different ways. For some, exposure to DEET does nothing. For others, exposure can result in the following:
- Eye irritation and watery eyes
- Irritation, redness, rash, or swelling of the skin
- Upset stomach, vomiting, or nausea if ingested
- Seizures (very rare)
When DEET is properly used and applied to the skin, a small amount of chemical is absorbed into the body and can be found in the blood for up to 12 hours after exposure. Like with other toxins, the liver will filter out the toxins and the DEET should be flushed from the body within 24 hours.
Luckily, as of now, researchers have concluded that DEET is not defined as a carcinogen and does not fall within the United States Environmental Protection Agency classification as a “classifiable human carcinogen.”
How Does DEET Affect The Environment?
Due to the widespread use of this outdoor pest control product, there have been widespread studies on the effect of DEET in nature. It has been found that when it gets into the soil that microbes like bacteria and fungi are able to break DEET down. That being said, DEET can cause some issues being that it has difficulties dissolving in water. Because DEET is not water-soluble, it can be found in a lot of the wastewater in heavily populated areas and is thought to be carried downstream to large bodies of water.
As far as the wildlife, and the effect that DEET has on them, it is known that DEET is toxic at high levels for freshwater fish and arthropods, but is not known to be as toxic to mammals and birds.
So Should You Like DEET Or Hate It?
At the end of the day, that is up to you. DEET is known to be an extremely efficient pest repellant, but it is also known to cause adverse reactions to some people that are exposed and can contaminate freshwater.
Luckily, you don’t have to be forced to take a moral stand on whether the use of DEET is good or bad, or if you want to subject you and your family to the potential effects that it can cause when exposed to certain individuals. Instead, you can opt to use a more natural outdoor pest control product that is made from healthy and organic compounds. And of course, the products that we are speaking of are Sniff ‘n’ Stop outdoor pest control products.
Go Natural With Sniff ‘n’ Stop SniffAway Natural Protection Spray
If you are looking for an outdoor pest control product that can effectively keep pests at bay without using harsh chemicals with a potential downside, we urge you to check out our SniffAway Natural Protection Spray. Our spray is manufactured using a proprietary blend of essential oils including cedar oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, and so much more!
Rather than repelling the begs with a chemical reaction, our product utilized ionized scent barriers that naturally keep the pests away. So say goodbye to pesky flies, ticks, mosquitoes, or any other bug that you commonly are bothered by.