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Repellent with DEET or natural?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Repellent with DEET or natural?

1. Posted by LeoSilva (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Hi guys,

I wonder which insect repellent is better. I heard the ones with at least 50% deet are better, although not very good for you. The natual ones with citronella apparently are very good too, but they don't seem to last too long... I'm confused now! If I buy the deet ones, I saw the 50 and the 100% in the shops, one seems to last longer but it can't be good for you... Did anyone have problems with the natural ones? Are they as good? How often do you have to apply them (every 2-3 hours)? Lots of questions :)
Thanks a lot

2. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 9y

I was in Thailand a couple years ago and used two types. 50% deet and an all natural product called cactus juice. The Cactus juice was more effective, does not harm the enviroment, and is non-toxic (you can drink it if you want).

3. Posted by KoalaGirl (Travel Guru 307 posts) 9y

Personnally I'm a fan of the DEET.... I just found the citronella ones wore off so quickly and weren't nearly as effective. Whilst the DEET may not be as good for you - having malaria isn't that great for you either...

4. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

Personally I've always found DEET much more effective, don't put more than 50% dilute on your skin though.

5. Posted by LeoSilva (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Thanks, guys!

The question still remains though, as DEET can be more effective but harmful, natural ones could be applied for longer. Perhaps it all depends on how long you're staying in risky areas. I definitely don't want to get malaria, but also not really keen to have any side effects of DEET after 15 days loading your body with a harmful chemical...! I did another research on natural ones in the meantime and found all sorts of thing, icluding a very simple dilution of garlic juice and water! I'm sure this one will not keep only mosquitos away!!! :)


6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

The problem that I have with all of the 'natural' repellants I've tried is not that they don't last long enough - more than they don't seem to stop the mozzies from biting me at all!

7. Posted by TeflonCDN (Full Member 129 posts) 9y

Go with the DEET. I was involved in a major safety review that lasted over 10 years. The main difference re. conc. of DEET is the lenght of protection time.

There have been a few reports of adverse effects over the last 40 years, but given the fact the these products are used 40 000 000/yr in North America alone ==> Very Safe!

8. Posted by LeoSilva (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Thanks Showdogs1,

It seems Deet is more efficient as I suspected. But, let's say, I'll be deep in the jungle for 15 days, would it be safe to spread deet in my skin for such long period of time without having any side effects? I still have few weeks to decide which to buy, but as it stands, I would buy one with deet for the hardcore stuff (like few days in risky areas) and the natural one for the daily use...

9. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

In the concentration used in any of the regular-market brands, prolonged usage of DEET won't trigger any side effects at all, unless you happen to be one of those unfortunate people that are overly sensitive to it. They're said to exist...

10. Posted by TeflonCDN (Full Member 129 posts) 9y

Some people will have skin reactions after repeated use of the "natural stuff".