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5/18/2016 3:47 pm  #18

Re: Mosquito Repellent - Natural Remedies

Only known side effects that I'm aware of Rob are... Itchy red bumps appearing on exposed skin and involuntary hand movements around the head.

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears

5/18/2016 7:33 pm  #19

Re: Mosquito Repellent - Natural Remedies

As for vitamin B-1, I don't have an opinion other than there's lots of hearsay, but not a single research that confirmed it's being repellent in any degree. At least, not to mosquitoes.


5/19/2016 8:51 pm  #20

Re: Mosquito Repellent - Natural Remedies

For anyone who wants to try an icaridin/picaridin-based product, MEC is selling (and enthusiastically promoting) one called PiACTIVE. I was at the Toronto store today, they have a 175 mL bottle for $10 and change, and a much less economical 40 mL bottle for $7 or something. The big bottle also has a compass and whistle built into the cap, though I'm disappointed it doesn't double as a water filter.

The sales guy pointed out that one advantage of (p)icaridin over DEET, other than being easier on the skin and not melting plastic products, is that it's effective on ticks as well as the usual bugs.

I'm going to take both that and muskol into the park this weekend and see if I become a convert.


5/20/2016 11:01 am  #21

Re: Mosquito Repellent - Natural Remedies

The bottle's probably empty - kind of scarecrow for bugs. One whistles and they go south.


5/24/2016 10:16 am  #22

Re: Mosquito Repellent - Natural Remedies

Perhaps I'm a bit late to the show, but historic and recent research/articles support only a handful of products that are safe and effective.  In general, products made with natural plant oils are not recommended for prevention of mosquito bites due to their extremely short duration of action (less than one hour, sometimes almost immediately ineffective). 

Of the top six products with effectiveness scores at or above 5 (on a scale of 1-10), five of those were DEET or Picaridin.  DEET is the single most tested and utilized product in the world and has been deemed safe by the CDC for use in adults, pediatrics (older than 2 months old) and even pregnant females (a rare accomplishment as many, many drugs are listed as "consider risk/benefit" instead of "go ahead and use it" in pregnancy).  DEET is used safely in over 400 million uses annually in the U.S. alone and with more than billions of applications globally without substantial adverse side effects (when used according to manufacturer's instructions).  In a very small number of patients a mild skin rash can develop - I expect that is often from over-use or over-application of highly concentrated (>25%) formulations.  An article from the New England Journal of Medicine states:

"DEET is far less toxic than many people believe. Adverse effects, though documented, are infrequent and are generally associated with gross overuse of the product. The risk of DEET-related adverse effects pales in comparison with the risk of acquiring vector-borne infection in places where such diseases are endemic. Users should avoid the temptation to apply the most concentrated formulation available and, when using a more dilute product, should reapply it as protection wanes. Alternative “natural” products generally fail to live up to their reputations for greater safety and effectiveness and offer their users a false sense of security."

Here is a linkto the CDC's site about preventing Zika virus which recommends using EPA registered products (and avoiding lemon eucalyptus oils in kids under 3 years of age).
Here is a linkto a recent consumer reports article on the effectiveness of various products.
And here is a linkto the consumer reports' table of their ratings performance.

The evidence and support of the safety and efficacy of DEET is overwhelming.  I'm not sure where the original poster has been reading about "the negative side effects of deet [sic]" but I haven't seen anything published recently to contradict the years of research and evidence in support of the product.

Interestingly, accordingto the World Health Organization, more than one million people die every year from mosquito-borne diseases - the highest number of deaths from any animal on our planet.  The majority of those are malaria, dengue and yellow fever but there are more local risks of Zika virus and West Nile virus in North America.

Last edited by PaPaddler (5/24/2016 10:17 am)


5/24/2016 3:08 pm  #23

Re: Mosquito Repellent - Natural Remedies

I used 20% DEET for many years and  I know that it causes burning sensation where applied to the skin and it does dissolve some plastics. It doesn't mean it's unsafe - after all coca-cola easily ruins varnish on furniture but it doesn't do it to human intestines. Still, DEET feels nasty.


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