Picaridin vs Deet
From the moment we step outside, until we get back home, there are tons of different things that can harm us. Our main enemies, though, are different insects.
There are tons of types of insects. A few examples of harmful insects are mosquitoes and bugs, both of which can bite you. Mosquito bites are the worst one. They just get itchy, and nobody likes that.
There are some ways that you can use to protect yourself from all these insects. If you want to protect yourself from mosquito bites, you can use a mosquito repellent. But how will you know which repellent is the best for you?
Well, let’s take a look at the differences between Picaridin and Deet, the two main ingredients in most insect repellents.
What are Picaridin and Deet?
Picaridin is the first ingredient we will be talking about today. Have you ever heard of the name Icaridin? This is the same as Picaridin. It’s just a different way to refer to it.
The name Picaridin comes from piperine. Piperine is the alkaloid in different peppers which gives them their distinct characteristics.
Picaridin is a clear, non-greasy liquid which cannot be dissolved in water. But how will you be able to place it on your skin? You can do that by diluting it into a large carrier, and then applying it directly to your skin.
Picaridin itself was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency back in 2001, and it was released in the U.S market in 2005.
Now, let’s take a look at Deet. If you’re a chemist, you might know Deet as N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide. But, since we aren’t chemists, we refer to it as just Deet.
The liquid itself has a yellowish color when you apply it to your skin. Deet is one of the oldest active ingredients in repellents, as it has been used for more than half a century.
It repels tons of biting insects, like mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. It is considered by many as the gold standard in repellents. So, if you can’t decide which repellent to use, go for one that has Deet as the main ingredient.
How Picaridin and Deet Protect Its Users
With Picaridin, you shouldn’t fear any insects bothering you. You can directly apply it on your skin, and it repels any insects that would otherwise bite you.
But, keep in mind that you should not have your face near the area where you are applying Picaridin, whether that’s your skin or clothing.
The way Picaridin works is simple. It creates a sort of barrier at the skin surface. This barrier prevents most insects (especially mosquitoes) from landing on your skin.
As for Deet, the effect is similar. You should apply Deet directly on your skin, so that it can repel all the insects. Whereas other repellents kill the insects, Deet makes it hard for biting bugs to smell us.
This, in turn, means that insects will not land on your skin or clothing in the first place.
Duration of Protection of Picaridin and Deet
The EPA suggests that Picaridin at a concentration of 20% will last you for around 8-14 hours, while a 10% concentration will last you for almost half that time.
On the other hand, Deet products with a concentration of around 10% are effective for only two hours. As the concentration gets higher, so does the duration.
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Environmental and Health Hazards of Picaridin and Deet
When it comes to Picaridin, while it might not irritate your skin, it can sometimes cause some eye irritation. Also, by harming the mosquito predators, Picaridin helps mosquitoes survive.
But, when it comes to Deet, the hazards are minimal. The EPA suggests that Deet might be a bit toxic to some animals, but it is non toxic to mammals.
There have been, however, some reports that excessive use of Deet can cause some neurological effects, like seizures, aggressiveness and low blood pressure.
Choosing the right insect repellent
If you want to buy the right insect repellent, you should take a few things into account:
- Protection for biting insects, like mosquitoes and ticks
- The duration of your exposure to such insects
- The active ingredient that’s best for you
- Other information for the specific product that you need.
“When you go outside it’s best to apply an insect repellent on your skin whether the main ingredient is picaridin or deet to ensure that you’re protected from mosquitoes or bugs.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Make sure that you don’t have any standing water near your house, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Or, you could use either Deet or Picaridin
We suggest that you apply a repellent no sooner than every 6 hours
Both Picaridin and Deet are 100% safe to use. Just make sure not to use them excessively
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