It’s a big question: Is bug spray dangerous? Find out the answer to this below as well as what sprays to use:
Are Bug Sprays Dangerous?
Bug sprays are only as harmful as their ingredients. Sprays with harmful ingredients are harmful and vice versa. The answer to the question about whether to use bug spray is not to stop using them, but to use ones without harmful ingredients.
Which Ingredients are Harmful?
Sprays that contain deet and pyrethrin are considered the most dangerous.
Deet has been known to cause skin irritations and other reactions, especially for those with sensitive skin. It can also cause seizures or comas with heavy use. It takes a lot of deet to have the more serious effects, but for regular campers who rely on it often it might be better to switch to a healthier alternative.
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Pyrethrin can cause coughing, wheezing and chest pain with heavy use. It is more dangerous than deet and should probably be avoided altogether.
If you absolutely must use sprays that contain deet or pyrethrin, we recommend using ones with a deet or pyrethrin concentration of less than 20% to avoid short term or long-term side effects.
What are Healthier Alternatives?
- Choose another spray: There are tons of bug sprays on the market that are made of natural ingredients that will repel insects without putting you at risk of adverse side effects. When looking for insect repellent sprays, check the label to make sure that it does not contain deet or pyrethrin and you will be good to go. If you cannot find it on the label, check the ingredients list.
- Outdoor repellers: Tons of devices exist that will repel insects outdoors, without having to apply products to your skin. Solar repellers are popular because they can repel insects like mosquitoes and are awesome because they charge during the day and require almost no maintenance. Just install wherever you spend time outside and you’re good to go!
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