What you need to know about DEET

EPA: Factsheet on Insect repellents containing DEET

DEET's Nastiness Extends to Humans

CDC: Insect Repellent Use & Safety

Seizures Temporally Associated with Use of DEET Insect Repellent


Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Recommended

Safer, Effective Alternatives to DEET Insect Repellent

Which Natural Mosquito Repellent Is Best?

A Fly in the Ointment

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Drugs, Chemicals Pollute U.S. Waterways Note: The most frequently detected compounds include the insect repellant DEET.

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Bet you think that DEET is safe to use because it's for sale in many neighborhood stores, right? Wrong! EPA is not a consumer product safety agency. EPA registers a pesticide product because the manufacturer says the product can do such and such. There's no guarantee of safety. Click here.

The media, along with our public health agencies, is promoting the insect repellent DEET without disclosing full facts about health risks in using the pesticide product.

Note: According to EPA, "pesticide poisoning is a commonly under-diagnosed illness in America today. Despite recommendations by the Institute of Medicine and others urging the integration of environmental medicine into medical education, health care providers generally receive a very limited amount of training in occupational and environmental health, and in pesticide-related illnesses, in particular".

Please read the following articles so you can make an informed choice for yourself and your family, in particular before using DEET on children. Many school systems are now promoting the use of DEET on children before entering the school playground or field. These same outside play areas are being heavily sprayed for mosquitoes and should be avoided by children.


Extoxnet has documented reported injuries or deaths of adults and children from use of the pesticide product DEET in their pesticide profile. A must read for every parent!

The Dangers of DEET from a Pharmacologist at Duke University Medical Center. "The take home message is to be safe and cautious when using insecticides," said Abou-Donia. "Never use insect repellents on infants, and be wary of using them on children in general. Never combine insecticides with each other or use them with other medications. Even so simple a drug as an antihistamine could interact with DEET to cause toxic side effects. Don't spray your yard for bugs and then take medications. Until we have more data on potential interactions in humans, safe is better than sorry." Also read: Duke Pharmacologist Says Animal Studies on DEET's Brain Effects Warrant Further Testing and Caution in Human Use and Use Caution When Using Insect Repellents Containing DEET that warns "...and don't use a product containing DEET if you're taking any medication".

Tri-Bullet DEET and Permethrin: A Dangerous Combination

Tri-Bullet Attraction of mosquitoes to diethyl methylbenzamide and ethyl hexanediol Studies by prior workers have shown that insect repellents can act as attractants when present as low concentrations, deposits or residues.

Tri-Bullet West Nile Panic Attack - Media foments fear of virus and obscures pesticide concerns Although written in 2000, the media is sadly making the same mistakes. "Most media reports have painted a picture of a galloping mosquito-borne killer virus that can only be stopped by blanketing areas with pesticides where infected mosquitoes and birds turn up."
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