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 FAQ On DEET Insect Repellents

Given below are some frequently asked questions on DEET:

Q. Is DEET an insecticide?
DEET repellent is not an insecticide.
The productive substance diethyl-m-toalumide, abbreviated as DEET, works on the nervous system of the insects. The mosquito get quite disorientated which disables them from stinging. As a result they will search for another victim. It neither kills nor harms the pests. Its main functions is to repel and block the mosquito's ability to detect the carbon dioxide released by our bodies.

Q. When and which time of the day should DEET repellent be used?
A. Whenever you are going to be outdoors and are at risk for getting bitten by insects, always apply DEET. As the insects are most expected to bite around dusk and dawn, use DEET based repellents during these times of the day.

Q. How often should DEETbe reapplied?
A. Follow the directions on the DEET product you are using. How often it should be reapplied will depend a lot on the concentration of DEET. Higher concentrations of DEET will repel insects for a longer period.

Q. Where should DEET be applied?
All Anti-Insect products should be used on uncovered body parts sparingly and with caution; not underneath your clothing and should not be applied to scrapes or wounds.

Q. What to do if DEET gets accidentally in the eyes?
DEET can sting if it gets in your eyes. Clean your eyes immediately with fresh water as soon as you can. Consult your doctor immediately.

Q.Insect-repellent products have different percentages of DEET, how do I know which one to use?
DEET is available in a range of strengths rated by percentage between 30% and 100%. A percentage of more than 50% does not have extra repellent properties, but may have a longer lasting effect, whereas less than 30% requires the product to be applied much more often. DEET is most effective between 30% and 50%.

Q. Can DEET repellent and sunscreen be used at the same time?
Sunscreen products are applied 30 minutes before you expose to the sun. After these 30 minutes, the DEET product can be applied 10 minutes before going into the sun. The SPF of sunscreen may decrease after a DEET product is applied; it is advisable to choose a sunscreen with a higher SPF. DEET should be reapplied after any new application of sun screen.

Q. Should DEET be re-applied after swimming.
Anti-Insect products are not water resistant. It is advisable to apply DEET every time you get out of the water.

Q. Do insect-repellent products containing DEET affect plastic?
The insect-repellent products containing DEET are indeed able to affect certain materials. Avoid contact with plastics and varnished surfaces such as spectacle frames, cameras, tabletops, rucksac buckles and synthetic clothing.

Q. Is DEET product safe for using on pregnant women?
A. There have been no unfavorable events reported following the use of repellents containing DEET in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Q. Can DEET be harmful to health when it is used on the long term?
When used in accordance to the individual product instructions, products with DEET are not harmful to health. However, it could be possible when there is a hypersensitivity towards one of the components. DEET is not a carcinogen and has been classified as non-carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA.

Q. How long will DEET last between trips?
Deet products can last for five or more years when stored in a cool, dry place. As the DEET in them does not change character or composition over time, you can certainly use it after more than 5 years. Sometimes that packaging can be the limiting factor with the component parts of spray or ball applicators being affected by the nature of the DEET.

Q. Can DEET be used on pets?
As there is no scientific data regarding the use of DEET on pets, it is suggested to consult the pet's veterinarian and obtain the right advice.