The EPA says DEET is safe, the makers of the stuff say it’s safe, and every school, group, and institution recommends it for prevention of West Nile virus. Who ya gonna believe? Read this post for an overview: West Nile: Fact and Fiction
I’m tellin’ ya that I don’t think DEET should go anywhere near human skin, and I haven’t used it on my children ever. The last time I used it, the face of my watch got spots all over it, and a webbing belt had areas of “melting”. That can’t be good for us.
There are a bunch of natural alternatives to DEET-based repellents on the market, such as Buzz Away by Quantu and Bite Blocker and Bio Block by HOMS. Most of these are based on an oil and essential oil blend, some with beeswax, and the effects last quite a long time – no need to constantly re-apply.
My personal favorite is Herbal Armor by All Terrain. We have used this on our kids for years, and can testify that it really works. Its ingredients include citronella, soybean, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass, and geranium oils, in a base of water with beeswax and glycerin. It is effective against mosquitoes, ticks, and black flies, and is long-lasting and water and sweat resistant.
The company’s website is: All Terrain, and they’ve also got a great line of sunscreen and biodegradable soaps. I highly recommend this company to new parents that want chemical-free products. They also make first aid supplies, sunscreen, and biodegradable soap and hand sanitizers.
For those looking for a natural mosquito repellent that really works, try Herbal Armor. You’ll feel good about using it on your children, and you never know, maybe the scent will be your new favorite fragrance (Old Spice, begone!)
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