DEET: Recommended, But Is It Safe? | KERA News

DEET: Recommended, But Is It Safe?

May 6, 2013

After finding mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus earlier than usual in at least two cities, Dallas County officials have begun urging outdoor use of mosquito repellent containing DEET. But what is DEET? And is there any reason to be concerned about using it any time we’re outdoors? Some answers in this edition of Vital Signs from David Jefferson, Tarrant County’s Environmental Health Manager.

How to use DEET products safely:

  • Read and follow all directions and precautions on the product label.
  • Do not apply over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth of young children.
  • Do not allow young children to apply this product.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing.
  • Do not use beneath clothing.
  • Avoid over-application.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
  • Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
  • Use of this product may cause skin reactions in rare cases.
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas.
  • To apply to face, spray on hands first and then rub on face. Do not spray directly onto face.

More EPA Information About DEET

CDC Fact Sheet About DEET

What You Need To Know About West Nile Virus

KERA West Nile Virus Special