DEET

EARTHTALK®: IS DEET SAFE?

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is DEET natural and is it safe to use topically as a mosquito repellent? And which formulations and concentrations are advised?-- M. Frey, Milwaukee, WI

August 1, 2020  -- DEET (short for “diethyltoluamide”) is a synthetic compound invented by the U.S. Army in 1946 that can be applied topically to repel mosquitos, ticks, fleas, chiggers, leeches and other biting insects. Unlike other repellents which actually deter bugs with smells they don’t like—or even kill them on contact—DEET just makes it harder for pests to smell us so they are more likely to leave us alone.


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CDPH CAUTIONS CALIFORNIANS ABOUT TICKS AND TICK-BORNE DISEASES


Tick activity remains high during winter months
 
January 21, 2012 (Sacramento) -- Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state public health officer, today warned individuals who work or play outdoors in the winter months to be on the alert for ticks that may carry bacteria that cause Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.  

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.