8 Myths About Bug Repellent... Debunked

Don't trust these myths for protecting your skin against mosquitoes

Flickr/Håkan Dahlström

A few weeks ago we discussed the best bug sprays for protecting your skin this summer. After chatting with three different dermatologists the conclusion was made that it is extremely important to protect your skin from the annoying, blood sucking pests that we all know as mosquitoes.

Bug spray is a must, and protecting yourself from mosquitoes means protecting yourself from life threatening diseases such as West Nile Virus, and less serious yet still bothersome rashes and reactions. But when anything becomes important for our safety, there is always something being offered as a quick fix. Whether it be myths about sunscreen, or myths about strength training, knowing the truth is what really matters when it comes to your safety.

Related: How to Fight Insects This Summer

Here I’ve compiled a list of popular bug repellent myths roaming around the internet as well as in the hardware stores. Everything from foods that make you less attractive to bugs to special gadgets that will drive mosquitoes away. Knowing the truth about these 8 common myths can protect you from some serious bug bites this summer.

One of the most commons myths is that DEET, the chemical found in most bug repellents, is dangerous. This is the myth that needs to be busted, because it is completely false, and DEET is very effective in protection. The EPA continues to approve the use of DEET and says that it does not present a health concern. It can be used on children and can prevent mosquito-borne illnesses as well as tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

DEET is designed to be directly applied to your skin, and won’t kill the bugs, but instead prevents them from even smelling us. The Agency also concluded that the chemical does not negatively affect the environment or other species.

Debunking these myths could prove your safety this summer, or at least less skin irritation. Enjoy your summer, and trust the science. When it comes to myths like these, knowing the truth comes from the research that proves it, not just the popularity of a product.

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