What is DEET?
Majority of the insect repellents today contain a harmful chemical called DEET. DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products, widely used to repel insects such as mosquitoes. Rather than killing biting mosquitoes, DEET works by masking our natural human scent, which makes it harder for them to smell us.
DEET versus DEET free?
The main difference is the active ingredient. The active ingredient in Anti-Mozzie® Products is Citronellin. Unlike DEET which is a synthetic chemical active, Citronellin is plant based, also known as Citronella Oil, Lemongrass and Pharmaceutical Grade Tea Tree Essential Oils.
In recent years, concerns have surfaced about the use of the insect repellent DEET. There have been a small number of serious neurotoxic effects reported in small children, as well as documented mosquito resistance and accumulation of DEET in some public waterways. Many consumers also object to DEET’s strong, chemically smell and the fact that it melts plastic upon contact. This has prompted consumers to seek DEET free alternatives.
Anti-Mozzie® products are all entirely DEET free. They don’t melt plastic, they contain an active that is biodegradable and there is no known accumulation in any public waterways.
What are the problems associated with DEET and how do they compare to Citronellin?
There are main areas of concern about DEET. These concerns do not apply to Citronellin which is the plant based active in our Anti-Mozzie® Range.
- A powerful solvent
As a powerful solvent, DEET can damage plastics, paints and synthetic fabrics, causing permanent damage and it will make colours run. DEET should be kept away from climbing ropes, watches, compasses, cameras, fishing tackle and sports equipment.
- Rapidly absorbed
DEET is rapidly absorbed through the skin. This can lead to problems especially in young children. As a result there are restrictions on children under the age of 12 using DEET and guidelines suggest you should only use DEET 1-2 times a day. In contrast, very little Anti-Mozzie® is absorbed through the skin so children as young as 6 months can use Anti-Mozzie ® and there are no restrictions on how often it can be used.
- Environmental concerns
DEET is a synthetic chemical and powerful solvent that has been detected in relatively large quantities in major waterways. In contrast, Citronellin, is deemed to be safe for plants and animals mainly because it is readily biodegradable. Also, Citronellin does not introduce any new substances to the ecosystem.
- The DEET experience
Many people find the oily feel and smell of DEET unpleasant and skin reactions are common.
Is Anti-Mozzie ® safe for plants, animals and our planet?
Unlike synthetic substances which may upset the balance of our ecosystem by adding chemicals, the active substance in Anti-Mozzie® (Citronellin, made up of Citronella, Lemon Grass and Pharmaceutical Grade Tea Tree Oil). Use of our plant based mosquito repellent will not upset the earth’s natural balance. Citronellin is also biodegradable, which is important to the well-being of plants and animals. Instead of building up to potentially harmful high levels in waterways or soil, it simply breaks down over a relatively short period of time. This is in contrast to other repellents, like DEET, that have been recorded at noticeable levels in some public waterways. We also work hard to ensure Anti-Mozzie ® products are ethically and sustainably sourced. We have never tested the effect of Anti-Mozzie ® on pets or any other animals. We would therefore recommend against using these products on animals.