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DEET or Permethrin

Health-conscious consumers often choose their bug repellents carefully. They read the labels, do their research, and try to select the least toxic and most effective chemicals. But many homeowners don’t think twice about the chemicals that their mosquito company sprays all over their property. But Mr. Mister wants to change that. It’s important to know what’s in your residential mosquito control spray. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the professional spray options are quite similar to the mosquito repellent options. The primary debate is whether to use DEET or Permethrin.

Why Use DEET?

Mosquitoes do not like the smell of DEET and are repelled by it. It also kills them, as it is an effective insecticide. However, A 2013 study has shown that it seems like these insects can become adapted to DEET, so its effect is reduced or even negated (1). If this is the case, then continual spraying with this substance would eventually l have little or even no effect.

Why use DEET? Is it particularly safe or more effective than other insecticides or mosquito repellants? This substance is a potent insecticide and takes care of mosquitoes rapidly and effectively. However, what about its effect on you, your family, and the environment?

Why We Don’t Use DEET

Some companies use DEET, but not us. We have reasons for this that are based fundamentally on reported issues and sound scientific principles. There are many reasons why DEET can be used as a powerful insecticide. However, there are also many reasons why it should not be used where your family or members of the public can come into contact with it.

We do not challenge the effectiveness of DEET in mosquito control or as an insecticide. However, DEET is so poisonous that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends you wash it off immediately, do not breathe it in, and do not bring it indoors.

It has also been reported that employees working in the Everglades National Park who used DEET regularly have had related health issues. Employees with regular exposure had a far higher likelihood of suffering insomnia, impaired cognitive function, and mood disturbances than those workers who were less exposed (2).

There are many more instances, reports, and studies that question the safety of using DEET.

DEET or Permethrin

Research has raised many questions regarding the safety of DEET. So why use it if there are safer alternatives available? Permethrin is a synthetic form of pyrethrum, a chemical that is contained naturally in chrysanthemums. Here at Mr. Mister, we use permethrin in our mosquito control misting systems and sprays. This is because if you have two options, why not use the safer one?

Neither of these chemicals is washed away rapidly by rain, although permethrin is biodegradable and is 20 times as water-soluble as DEET. DEET persists much longer in your yard because it can neither biodegrade nor does it dissolve much in water. We use a permethrin spray that sticks to your foliage for at least three weeks, and we respray every 21 days. We also offer a pyrethrum-based natural mosquito spray. The natural solution is organic and lasts 14 days, so we respray every two weeks.

Mr. Mister offers comprehensive service without the inherent health dangers of DEET. Other mosquito control companies use DEET. That’s their choice, and we don’t criticize them for it. But our customers are safety-conscious, and so are we. That’s why we prefer to use the safest control system for you and your children. We also provide a safer alternative for businesses. If you need to protect your business premises, you don’t want to expose your employees or clients to a greater risk than necessary.

Homeowners and business owners have to choose whether to use DEET or Permethrin. The fact remains that DEET is recognized as having specific health hazards. So why take the risk? No matter which side you fall on, permethrin is known medically as being safer of the two. So why not just use it and minimize the risk to your family, visitors, employees, or clients? The choice is simple. Mr. Mister provides the safest and most effective alternative.


  1. “Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Exhibit Decreased Repellency by DEET following Previous Exposure”. Plos One (20 February 2013) 8 (2): e54438. Stanczyk, Nina M.; Brookfield, John F. Y.; Field, Linda M.; Logan, James G. (2013). Vontas, John, ed.
  2. “DEET”. Pesticide Information Profile. EXTOXNET. October 1997.

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