Natural Alternatives To Deet Repellent

With an ongoing debate if a DEET repellent is completely safe or not, one will often come across some articles reporting as Deet to be very safe while some others conveying it to be not completely safe. Although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has clearly said that Deet insect repellents do not present a health concern, there is no harm at looking at some natural alternatives to Deet repellents. Many believe that anything as powerful and as DEET can’t be all good. Therefore, in this article, we will introduce you to some healthier alternatives to Deet repellents. Read on.

Here are some alternatives to Deet repellents:

Lemon eucalyptus
Research shows that oil of lemon eucalyptus is a good natural insect repellent. As effective protection against mosquitoes, it has the highest scoring among Deet repellent alternatives. According to Consumer Reports, the product is effective for up to six hours against mosquitoes and deer ticks.

Citronella oil
Citronella oil, having been used as an insect repellent for more than 60 years now, its qualities have been well confirmed by research. Although not effective as Deet, its formulas can be as good as to DEET based repellents. One can always try these natural alternatives to Deet repellents.

Soybean oil
Soybean oil as another Deet alternative has been found to keep away insects and mosquitoes away. There are however mixed results from studies, with some showing protection up to 7 hours while another study showed protection of only one and one-half hours.

In the late 1990s, the University of Florida recognized geraniol as the first alternative to DEET. The geraniol based repellents offer protection to their consumers against insect bites from two to four hours.

Other ongoing research reveals several other Deet repellent alternatives. For instance, Icaridin or Picaridin is another insect repellent of a power comparable to DEET. Distilled nepetalactone, an active ingredient in catnip, although is able to repel insects ten times more effectively than DEET, it is not as successful a repellent on skin. Another alternative to Deet repellents is a natural compound found in the Tauroniro tree of South America, which has been found to repel insects. Isolongifolenone is also known to keep away insects as effectively as DEET.

Today millions of people have probably used DEET with no side effects or problems. Various tests have revealed that DEET to be more effective than any other alternatives to Deet repellents. The natural alternatives to Deet repellents are found to be most effective for the first 30–60 minutes and require reapplication to over several hours.