UF Study Offers More Evidence That Deet Is a Safe Way to Ward Off Mosquitoes (UF Health Newsroom)

UF Study Offers More Evidence That Deet Is a Safe Way to Ward Off Mosquitoes

Summer is back, with warmer temperatures, longer days, and… mosquitoes. When mosquitoes feast on humans, they can leave more than irritating bites behind. They can also carry Zika, West Nile virus and malaria.

The insect repellent N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET, is considered one of the most effective defenses against mosquitoes and ticks. It has been used since the 1940s, but questions linger among some consumers about its safety. A new University of Florida study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene adds to the body of research demonstrating that DEET is safe for humans when used according to manufacturer instructions.

As climate change expands the range for tropical mosquitoes that carry some of the most potentially dangerous insect-borne diseases, it is more important than ever that we have prevention options that are safe and effective, said the study’s senior author Arch Mainous III, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the UF Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.

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