DEET Repellent Info

About Today’s DEET-based Products


Concentration Amount

Concentration Amount

DEET-based products are available as aerosols, pump sprays, creams, and towelettes. Concentrations range from 5-100%.

Most experts suggest matching the product concentration to the duration of exposure (for mosquitoes).  Use products from 5-30% in the US.  In areas of the world where Zika, malaria, yellow fever and other endemic diseases are a threat, travelers are often encouraged to protect themselves with repellent. Always select a product that carries an EPA registration number.  See How to Read a Label.

Can showing EPA Registration number

The CDC recommends use of repellents that contain 20-30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours.

Aerosols are available in new “dry” formulations.  They also are available in sustained-release formulations that extend the period of efficacy so that a 25% product will typically provide longer periods of protection.  Sweat-resistant products are ideal for those working outside or engaged in vigorous exercise.  Towelettes are available in individually-wrapped foil packets that are ideal for travel and can be carried easily in a shirt pocket, backpack, or purse to have on hand whenever you need it.


How does DEET work?

DEET is believed to work by affecting the scent receptors on insects that bite, making it more difficult for the insect to recognize your scent, which is normally the carbon dioxide your body releases. As a result, DEET is an ideal repellent for your family while outside or actively playing in areas with mosquito and tick activity.  DEET is registered as a personal insect repellent for direct skin application.

In addition to this, DEET is one of EPA-registered active ingredients listed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in products to repel mosquitoes and ticks.

Enjoy outdoor activity with fewer bug bites through proper use of insect repellents and other simple steps.