Always follow the directions on the label. Also, be aware that a higher percentage of DEET in a repellent does not mean that your protection is betterâ€”just that it will last longer. DEET concentrations higher than 50 percent do not increase the length of protection.Choose the appropriate repellent for the length of time you'll be outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- A product containing 23.8 percent DEET provided an average of 5 hours of protection from mosquito bites.
- A product containing 20 percent DEET provided almost 4 hours of protection.
- A product with 6.65 percent DEET provided almost 2 hours of protection.
- Products with 4.75 percent DEET and 2 percent soybean oil were both able to provide roughly 1 hour of protection. Note: Only use products labeled for pet use on your dog, cat, or other domestic pet. Read the label first: Protect your pets.
For More Information
- Insect repellent use and safety
- Updated information regarding Insect Repellents
- How do I choose an Insect Repellent
- Insect repellents containing DEET and sunscreen
United States Environmental Protection Agency
- How to use insect Repellents safely
- Methods for Mosquito Control
- Re-registration of the Insect Repellent DEET
- Picaridin Fact Sheet
United States Food and Drug Administration
Washington State Department of Health
Washington State Department of Ecology