What is Deet - Part 1 August 17 2022

Despite being used for over 60 years, consumers still question whether Deet is a substance safe enough for human use. Having been discovered by the US Army and the Department of Agriculture, it is one of the most effective substances to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away. Even scientists today still consider Deet as the standard for newer insect repellent bases, making their products as effective as possible. But why is Deet safe for human use? Here are some reasons.

1. Low Cases of Poisoning

Even with long-term and widespread use, Deet has a low poisoning rate. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there have only been a handful of cases of Deet poisoning in the past few years. Out of these cases, most were due to children ingesting large amounts of the repellent. 

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported 46 seizures and four deaths linked to exposure to the chemical. However, there is only a ratio of 1:100 million uses where seizures occurred. Although there are cases related to Deet poisoning, they are low, considering the substance has been around since 1960.

2. Poisoning Cases Resulted from Misuse

In many cases, Deet poisoning occurs when the chemical is misused. For example, people may too liberally apply it to their skin or ingest it. Ingestion can happen when people mistakenly swallow Deet products, such as when they use it to repel bugs and the chemical gets into their mouths.

However, the cases in which parents applied Deet to their children were the most alarming. The EPA suggests people should not apply Deet-infused products on cuts, wounds, and irritated skin. People should also not touch their eyes and mouth after using the products with their hands. Lastly, people should immediately call for professional help if a reaction occurs.

3. Deet Toxicity is Mild

Even though Deet is a toxic chemical, the amount of exposure in most cases is mild. However, there have been cases of severe adverse reactions and even death. These cases were usually caused by ingestion, inhalation, or excessive skin exposure.

It is essential to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturers to ensure safety. If a product is not labeled safe for children, it is best to avoid it. At least 90 percent of the cases are easily treatable at home, and those sent to health centers have been eventually discharged right after examination.

4. No Evidence Proves That Deet Causes Cancer

There is no scientific evidence that Deet causes cancer. Deet is one of the few products tested and found to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not seen an increase in tumors in subjects given Deet tablets or have liquid Deet applied to their skin. There is still no concrete evidence that Deet directly causes cancer in people.

5. Approved for Children's Use

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of Deet for children, with no age restrictions. Although there is no scientific evidence that Deet causes cancer in people, it is still advisable to use caution when applying it to young children. As always, the EPA advises the public to follow instructions on using products with Deet, including insect repellents.


Although products containing Deet are generally safe to use, switching to plant-based products is still an excellent way to protect people from deadly diseases brought by bugs and other insects. Therefore, instead of buying the usual repellents in the market, purchase repellents from companies manufacturing natural and plant-based products today.

Carpé Insectae aims to provide all-natural repellents in the market, offering an effective yet safe way to prevent mosquitoes and other bugs from invading homes. Our goal is to produce the best insect repellent and natural bug spray and let people use them for safety. Switch to natural products today and shop on our website now.