There is always controversy on the usage of DEET in mosquito repellents. Some regard it to be the best mosquito killer, whereas, some are seen as scared to use DEET sprays due to some myths. Neem oil, camphor, and eucalyptus may indeed settle themselves as the best natural mosquito repellents due to no chemical formula. But, does that mean that a DEET-based mosquito product is unsafe?


What is DEET, who invented it? Is it an ordinary insecticide? Is DEET harmful and should you apply DEET products on your child’s skin to repel mosquitoes? These are some of the main concerns that often crop up in people’s minds about DEET mosquito repellent products.


So, here is your chance to learn about the real fact about the common myths about DEET spray and DEET as a mosquito and insect repellent. In this article, we will try to acquaint you with all about DEET and facts about it, so read on.


What is DEET?


Before we start talking about the facts about DEET, let us explain to you what DEET is. It is the most commonly found active ingredient found in all the popular insect and mosquito repellents these days. It helps in preventing bites from all types of pests and bugs, like mosquitoes, fleas, biting flies, and so on. DEET is a yellowish liquid that is safe to be applied on clothes as well as on the skin.


DEET Full Form


Talking about the DEETs meaning, it stands for N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. Experts believe that DEET offers the ultimate mosquito protection. Perhaps, this is the reason that many consider a DEET mosquito repellent to be the most effective protection against all types of mosquitoes.


How does DEET work as a Mosquito Repellent?


What makes people use DEET in mosquito repellents? DEET is a chemical that is found effective in binding carbon dioxide receptors, especially in the nose. Whether you know it or not, a mosquito uses its nose to find blood in a person’s skin. DEET confuses the mosquitoes by snatching their ability to use this sense of reception through their nose and confuses them. This is how DEET acts as a perfect mosquito repellent.


Without wasting any more time, let us head on to burst some common myths about DEET Insect Repellent.


7 Myths About DEET Mosquito and Insect Repellent


  1. Myth 1
  2. Myth 2
  3. Myth 3
  4. Myth 4
  5. Myth 5
  6. Myth 6
  7. Myth 7


Myth 1: Vitamin B, Garlic, and Bananas are better Mosquito Repellents than DEET Sprays


Fact: The fact is there is no scientific proof for such claims that eating onions, garlic, bananas, or vitamin B supplements can repel mosquitoes. According to the scientists of the University of Florida, DEET has earned the status of the gold standard amongst all types of mosquito repellents.


Myth 2: DEET Mosquito Repellents are Unsafe as compared to Natural Mosquito Repellents


Fact: This is the biggest myth about DEET repellents. According to the scientists of the University of Florida, natural mosquito repellents are derived from natural and highly concentrated oils, which may be toxic to your skin. However, this is not the case with DEET repellents, they are safe and used in the most widely tested consumer products for over 50 years. DEET is termed to possess the most remarkable safety profile, according to a New England Journal of Medicine article.


Myth 3: DEET Mosquito Repellents are Oily and Smelly


Fact: The fact is that DEET-based mosquito control products are pleasant to smell. They are skin-friendly and leave behind a fresh fragrance and are not something that is unbearable for human beings. The smell emitted by DEET mosquito sprays is dreadful for mosquitoes and not for humans.


Myth 4: DEET is an Insecticide that does not kill Mosquitoes


Fact: This is half-myth and half-truth. DEET is not an insecticide. It does not kill mosquitoes like an insecticide. It is very effective in repelling them. DEET products confuse insects and mosquitoes to locate human beings.


Myth 5: DEET May Cause Seizure in Children


Fact: The fact is that there is no scientific proof that shows a direct connection between seizures and children. According to experts, only a handful of reports show that some children suffered from a seizure, but there is no direct link associated with the usage of DEET products to be the exact cause.


Myth 6: DEET is Harmful for Children


Fact: No DEET mosquito repellents are not harmful for children, provided they are applied correctly. Make sure to read the label instructions carefully before using DEET repellents on children. To be on the safer side, first, do a patch test on your hand with a DEET product before applying it to the child’s skin.


Myth 7: DEET and DDT are the Same


Fact: No, this is a sheer myth. DEET and DDT are not the same, DDT or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane is a harmful insecticide that was banned in the USA in 1972. It is a common insecticide used in agriculture to protect crops from insects. DEET is not an insecticide. It was developed by the U.S. Army in the year 1946 for safe use by the general public.




When it comes to mosquito control, HiCare, India’s leading pest control solution provider knows what is best and safe for you. The company has launched the AutoMos Mosquito Repellent Machine keeping in mind your concerns for all kinds of chemicals and not just DEET in mind to repel mosquitoes. AutoMos emits 4 times less chemicals and still provides you round-the-clock mosquito protection for up to 3 months. Costing you just Rs. 5 per day, AutoMos is a safe and effective solution to control mosquitoes at home without fearing harmful chemicals.




1. What is a fact about DEET?


A typical active ingredient in many insect repellents is DEET, commonly known as N,N-Diethyl-Meta-Toluamide. It was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 for military use and has since become widely used for personal protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects.


2. Is DEET safe in mosquito repellent?


DEET is often regarded as safe for use as a mosquito repellent when used as advised. the United States and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are two regulatory bodies. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have both conducted considerable research on it and given it their approval for use. To avoid overuse or prolonged exposure, it's crucial to adhere to the directions on the product label.


3. What is the story behind DEET?


The United States developed DEET. Army in the 1940s as a consequence of research done during World War II. Its initial purpose was to protect soldiers from insect-borne diseases like malaria, which posed a significant threat in certain regions. The compound was later made available to the public, and its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes and other insects quickly gained popularity.


4. Is DEET harmful to the environment?


DEET can have some impact on the environment, particularly in aquatic ecosystems. Fish and other aquatic species are known to be poisonous to it at high doses. However, when used according to the instructions, the amount of DEET that enters the environment from individual use is typically low. To minimize environmental impact, it's advisable to use DEET sparingly and consider alternative repellent methods if environmental concerns are a priority.


5. How effective is DEET?


DEET is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes and other biting insects. It works by interfering with the insects' ability to locate and land on a person's skin. DEET is well known for offering long-lasting protection, with its efficacy varies according to the product's DEET dosage. Higher concentrations generally offer longer-lasting protection but should be used sparingly and in accordance with the instructions provided. It's important to note that individual reactions to DEET can vary, and some people may be more attracted to mosquitoes regardless of DEET usage.