DEET

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

DEET or diethyl-m-toluamide of N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide is an insect repellent.

The recommended concentration is:

  • For adults: 30 to 50%. (20% or lower does not work for long enough periods and more than 50% does not produce a significantly longer effect). DEET 20 to 30% offers four to six hours of protection; a higher percentage of DEET 40 to 50% offers approximately eight hours of protection. The period of action is often shorter than the time listed on the packaging. 
  • For children from the age of six months: 20 to 30%. However, there are contradictory international recommendations concerning the use of DEET in children. According to some guidelines, DEET may be used from the age of two months, according to others only from the age of two years. 
  • For pregnant women: 20 to 30%.

For young children and pregnant women, we recommend using repellents only if the other mosquito repellent measures cannot be applied sufficiently and washing it off when it is no longer needed.

DEET reduces the effectiveness of sun cream. Always apply the sun cream first and then DEET. Use a sun cream with a higher protection factor (30 or more).

DEET can damage plastic materials.

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