The World Around Us

Chemicals in Our World

What chemicals are commonly found in mosquito repellent?

A chemical known as N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (more commonly known as DEET) is the most commonly used insect/mosquito repellent. This chemical can be applied directly to the skin to prevent mosquito and other bug bites. It is believed to work because mosquitoes dislike the smell of DEET, so they try to stay away from it. In some cases DEET can be an irritant and, in very rare cases, it has been associated with more serious health problems such as seizures.


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