One of the best activities to do in summer is hiking. Hiking is an activity of moderate difficulty, which involves walking across long distances, generally on trails or paths.     

There are different types of hiking depending on the difficulty and the duration. Short hikes can be as short as half a day or one day. Long hikes or treks can last for over 12 days covering dozens of kilometers.       

Regardless of how long you wish to hike, you will encounter unwanted hiking buddies such as mosquitoes, flies,  and ticks. This is why it is important that you bring with you insect repellent to prevent insect bites.     

Deet as a Gold Standard Insect Repellent

Deet as a Gold Standard Insect Repellent

Deet has a chemical name N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It is the common name for an insect and acarid repellent used to repel, but not kill, biting insects, mites, and ticks.  

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, repellents that contain DEET is the most effective broad-spectrum insect repellent component with long-lasting protection from insects like mosquitoes, ticks, flies, chiggers, and fleas.  

PubMed states that it can provide long-lasting protection of up to 8 hours from the time of application. 

Recommended Use of Deet

According to a study by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Deet-based repellents are relatively safe when used as recommended.

A higher concentration of Deet in a product means it is effective for a long period of time. Products with lower concentrations of Deet may need to be reapplied, depending on the length of time you spend outdoors. 

For example, products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours, while products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. But studies also show that products with amounts of DEET greater than 30% don’t offer any extra protection. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months.  

Steps in using Deet

A fact sheet is released by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to properly guide you when using products with Deet.

  • Read and follow all directions and precautions on the product label.
  • When applying on the face, first spray the product onto hands, then rub it onto the face.
  • Use only when outdoors and wash skin with soap and water after coming indoors.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. 

Live safely and worry-free. Keep the bugs away with the help of DEET and by visiting Pest Guide today!

Deet Products

Deet products come in various forms such as sprays, lotions, liquids, and impregnated materials such as wristbands, nets, towelettes, and roll-on devices. 

As of 2005, 30 different manufacturers offered over 100 products for sale that contained DEET.

Using Deet Pros

  • Deet can protect humans against bugs biting and mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Deet can protect pregnant women from the deadly Zika virus.

  • Deet is not classified as a carcinogen that can cause cancer.

Using Deet Cons

  • Overexposure to DEET can develop skin reactions such as rashes, blisters, and skin irritation.

  • DEET smells bad.

  • DEET can't be used on young children.

Safety Precautions When Using Deet

The United States Environmental Protection Agency concluded that insect repellents containing DEET do not present a health concern after completing a comprehensive reassessment of DEET. 

  • Insect repellents like deet are effective and safe when properly used.
  • Safety precautions must be observed when using deet, especially in children.
  • Irritation and other reactions after swallowing or prolonged skin application may be observed.
  • Use it according to directions or in moderate concentrations to be safe. 
  • Store it out of reach of children.
  • Avoid over-application of the product.

Pro Tip

Do not apply repellent to children’s hands. They have the tendency to put their hands in their mouth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can use sunscreen and insect repellent at the same time during hiking. However, you should take a bit more time to add insect repellent after applying your sunscreen. Wait at least 5-10 minutes, or if possible, half an hour, to allow the sunscreen to dry and bind to your skin before applying the insect repellent.

DEET-based repellents don’t have an expiration date. They are believed to last indefinitely. You should consider that the effectiveness can reduce over time; otherwise, you shouldn’t have any problems with it.

Many insect repellents on the market recommend reapplication no sooner than every 6 hours. When in an area where the risk of mosquito-borne disease is a concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a product that contains 20% or more DEET.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x