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Picking the Right Product For Your Activity

Experts recommend using repellents registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That way, you know the product will repel insects and ticks and that it has been evaluated for safety.

DEET and EPA registration numbers on the label.

Consider the type of product (aerosol, towelettes, etc.) and how you will use it. Towelettes are more convenient to take on a hike, as an example. Concentration gives you some idea of how long you can expect the product to provide protection. The higher the concentration, the longer the bugs will stay away. Products last five or more years when stored in a cool, dry place and a family-sized container of spray should provide enough applications for more than one mosquito season.

If you’ll be outside for 90 minutes, a 7-10% concentration of DEET in the product will work well. If you’re off to fish where there are more bugs than fish or plan to safari in Africa, you’ll want something closer to a 100% concentration. It will last 10-12 hours.

How much DEET shall I look for?

DEET Concentration Hours of Protection
5-10%2-4 hours
15%6 hours
25-30%up to 8 hours
100%10+ hours