Alternatives To DEET

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Recent rain has brought out pesky summer insects. Health officials in Madison County, Illinois, confirm mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in Mitchell, Illinois near Granite City.

DEET helps protect people from West Nile, but it’s not the only repellent. Dr. Alex Vidan from Vidan Family Chiropractic talked to John Pertzborn about alternatives to DEET.  Those alternatives include:

  • Soy-based products - bite blocker for kids - offer more than 90 minutes of protection.
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (pmd) - natural oil, from the lemon eucalyptus tree. Several studies have found this natural bug repellent as effective as deet in repelling mosquitoes. May be poisonous if ingested in high quantities

Tips to Reduce Bites:

  • If possible, put repellents with deet on your clothing instead of your skin.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants.
  • When you`re sitting out on our porch, think about using a window fan or overhead fan. The mosquitoes will have trouble getting near you.

What to Avoid:

  • Citronella candles don't work very well and may actually cause harm. It's a direct form of exposure, so you're breathing in whatever chemicals are in the product.
  • Bug zappers and ultrasonic devices don't really work and might even attract more bugs.