With the rise in mosquito borne illness such as Zika Virus there has been increased buzz around repellents containing the active ingredient Picaridin. Last summer the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended Picaridin based repellents to prevent mosquito bites that may carry infectious diseases like Zika Virus and West Nile. Many consumer reporting magazines have been testing Picaridin based repellents and have found them to be even more effective at repelling mosquitoes than the standard DEET based offerings.
What is Picaridin and how does it work??
Picaridin is a synthetic compound that works to block the insect’s olfactory receptors and make it hard for them to find you and want to land on your skin. Developed by the Bayer chemical company in the 1990’s it started being distributed under the brand name Bayrpel® in Europe and quickly became one of the most popular repellents sold. It was introduced in the United States in 2005 as the active ingredient Picaridin and is sold under a number of brand names including Natrapel 20% Picaridin.
Is Picaridin as effective as DEET?
Picaridin has been tested to provide even longer lasting protection than 100% max DEET repellents. With either DEET or Picaridin active ingredients, the % of the active ingredient in the repellent will determine how long it provides protection. Picaridin is sold in concentrations of 7% – 20%. Formulations with 7% concentration will provide up to 2 hours of protections and 20% concentrations will last for up to 12 hours. The higher the % of active ingredient, the longer it lasts. Picaridin is also seen as pleasant to use by consumers as it tends to be non-greasy or sticky on the skin.
Is Picaridin safer then DEET
Both DEET and Picaridin have been noted as safe to use by the CDC. Though DEET is a plasticizer that is known to melt plastics and synthetics where Picaridin will not. Picaridin is safe for use on your gear and is rated as essentially “non-toxic” for use on your skin. With any repellent do not apply to broken skin and a very small percentage of users may experience skin irritation.
What are Picaridin repellents best for?
Picaridin based repellents are great for the whole family and a gear safe alternative to DEET. Repellents with Picaridin can be used to protect against biting mosquitoes, ticks and insects during any type of outdoor activity. Great for camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing or water sports, these repellents will keep you safe from the bugs without harming your gear or clothing.
For more information on Natrapel tick and insect repellents check out Natrapel.com
For more information on Disease prevention, like Lyme, Zika and West Nile visit: https://www.cdc.gov/