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Pros and cons to DEET insect repellent with alternatives and natural bug repellent recipes of alternative to DEET repellent .
When most people think of bug repellent, they think of Off Deep woods, the DEET insect repellent. The one with the disgusting smelling (and gross tasting), plastic melting liquid. You can purchase it mixed with sunscreen, as a spray, or just by the bottle.
DEET, proper name of N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. Is the main ingredient in many a deet insect repellent. It can be purchased in many concentrations of 100% or lower, although some countries prevent sales of products with higher concentrations than 50 or even 30%. The higher the concentration the longer the protection, upto 12 hours of protection from a single application.
How it keeps insects away
Insects do not like the smell of DEET, just as they don’t like the smell of many natural repellents, as these smells activate olefactory neurons in their antenna.
Not meant for children
Some sources that say that DEET is ok and not unhealthy, but on the same breath, they also say that DEET based bug repellents should not be used for a prolonged time on children under 12. Other sources say that it shouldn’t be applied under clothes or on cuts or open wounds. Suspicious? I’m suspicious of anything that shouldn’t be used on children.
Tastes and smells bad
Deet insect repellent tastes and smells disgusting. No, I don’t lick myself, but since you put it on your hands, face etc, you will end up tasting it. Eww!
Personally, I do not trust something on my skin that melts plastic and can peel paint! If you’re wearing anything that’s plastic, or touch anything that is plastic, it will melt.
These bug repellents work the best because they are toxic. DEET is a proven neurotoxin. Scientific studies done in France (article published in BMC Biology) have found that it irreversibly inactivates the acetylcholinesterase enzyme in both mammals and insects, a key central nervous system enzyme. This leads to neuromuscular paralysis and death from suffocation. The study was done on cockroaches, mosquitos, hens, rats and mice.
Other acetylcholinesteratse inhibitors include Sarin and VX-nerve gases, snake venoms, and other pesticides such as carbomate and organophospate pesticides affect this enzyme in the same way.
DEET irreversibly inactivates the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. Because acetycholine can’t break down, a build-up of this neurotransmitter causes many negative side effects.
In real language: What does this mean? In low doses, DEET causes salvation, and eye water in low doses, with increasing dosage, the body will undergo muscle spasms and eventually death. Prolonged exposure can cause birth defects.
There is also strong evidence that DEET can cause seizures and death if combined with other pesticides.
More studies need to be done to confirm how unhealthy DEET is for people. Would you be interested in being the guinea pig? I certainly wouldn’t want them to study this on me!!!
Are there any pros to DEET repellent?
These chemicals do not need to be applied as often as the naturally based repellents.
No natural repellent is as effective as DEET insect repellent.
If you are choosing DEET repellent, choose the concentration based on how long you will be outdoors.
Bottles can last 5 years or more if kept in a cool dry location.
Deet-based bug repellents can be purchased at big box stores such as Walmart, Home depot, Target, Lowes, Canadian Tire, and also drug stores such as Shoppers Drug Mart, and other drug stores.
Since, I care about my health, I decided to switch over to a more natural alternative to DEET repellent . Be healthy, make your own!!!
There are no natural repellents that are as effective as DEET, however, our health is important.
Some articles that you might be interested in:
Alternative to DEET Repellent : Natural Insect Repellents and recipes