1. Health and Wellness

Is DEET harmful to your health?

Deet is one of the most common and active ingredients in insect repellents. It is slightly yellow in color and oily in texture. It is intended to be applied to the skin or clothing to repel ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, leeches, chiggers, and many other insects. DEET doesn’t kill insects, it simply prevents them from landing on your skin.

Researchers found out that DEET-based repellents are able to provide the most complete and long-lasting protection against mosquitoes and other insecticides. A recent review of the effects of deet on the health of humans has shown that the insect repellent is safe to use on the skin.

This review is one of the several types of research that have been done over the previous years, although deet reacts negatively to the skin of many, and causes harm to the nervous system of a few others, it has generally been accepted and put to use by many.


The recent review of its effects on human health presented shows that insect repellent can have a negative effect on health.

Research carried out in the late 1980s discovered that there were some negative effects of DEET. The negative health effects that were blamed on the exposure to the chemical included nausea, headaches, skin irritation, rashes numb or burning lips, dizziness and also difficulties in concentrating.

The study also explains that exposure to DEET has led to a diffuse brain cell death and also behavioral changes in individuals. It concluded that humans are advised to stay away from products containing it.  Though studies have shown that some persons have a sensitivity to DEET applications, while some are unaffected when DEETs products are put to use.

The environment protection agency (EPA) also shows that DEET is slightly toxic to some birds, fish, and other aquatic animals

DEET can also be inhaled at the cause of trying to spray it all over the body and also indoor areas where the vapors may have remained for a certain period of some time. It is also likely possible to swallow DEET if hands are not washed after using DEET on the skin.


DEETs has been used in the production of many insect repellents which include lotions that are applied to the skin, liquid sprays which are the repellents that fight against mosquitoes and also sticks. There is an estimate showing that about 30% of the U.S. population strongly uses one or more products which contains  DEET on a yearly basis.


Products made from DEET are in different forms but are popular in repellents made to fight against mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects. 


Products made out of DEET are labeled or been indicated on them, in other to create awareness, especially to persons who an allergic it irrespective of the form in which it may come. 

It is advisable to always follow label instructions and take the necessary steps to avoid exposure or undue contact with it. 

Alternatives to DEET

Alternatives to deet do exist and they work well too.