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Sorry if this has been done: What insect repellants are OK. Is DEET?? Or something less intense!

(16 Posts)
rostbeef Tue 25-Aug-09 13:13:22

I m off to Spain on Thursday and I am a very allergic person - mosquito bites swell massively and I go into anaphalactic (sp!) shock with bees. So, I want some good insect repellant but the stuff I have is 50% DEET and seems very hardcore considering so much is off limits when pregnant. I will get googling but wondered if you guys knew what would be best and or if you can recommend a good and non toxic make?
I am 21 weeks.

thanks ladies! smile

arolf Tue 25-Aug-09 13:29:54

have you heard of Skin so Soft from Avon? it's got great insect repelling properties! if you can get hold of some (I use the cream, my mum swears by the spray), try it out.

Also, wear long sleeved tops, long trousers, and cover up as much as possible in the evenings (when mozzies bite most).

One other thing is a device which sucks out stings/bite 'venom'- I can't for the life of me remeber the name of it, but will see if I can track it down. It's like a syringe which creates a vacuum over the bite/sting site, and pulls out the toxins. will write back here if i can find it, or maybe someone else will know?

4andnotout Tue 25-Aug-09 13:32:00

Avon skin so soft dry oil spray works as the best repellant i've tried.

4andnotout Tue 25-Aug-09 13:32:23

X post!!

crumpette Tue 25-Aug-09 13:37:12

DEET very very very bad indeed. Do not use.

I went to India during last pregnancy and used a homemade mixture of citronella oil with eucalyptus oil, in a cheap little spray bottle.

Did not get a single bite or sting and the eucalyptus smell fades after a couple minutes to become just lemony.

Go to holland & barrett or somewhere for essential oils. Alternatively, I think neal's yard (?) make one like this already done

arolf Tue 25-Aug-09 13:42:03

ok, one thing here which is along the lines of what I was talking about. it's not the exact model I've seen demonstrated, but has a similar principle.

It's particularly good if used on mozzie/midge bites, as it reduces the reaction to them drastically - my dad has nasty reactions to midge bites, but used one of these once and had virtually no reaction where he'd used the extractor.

bubblesincambridge Tue 25-Aug-09 13:46:17

I'm gonna try Skin so Soft from Avon, but I'm wondering if its OK for my man to use a DEET based spray. Will I breathe it in off his skin does anyone know??

crumpette Tue 25-Aug-09 13:56:43

I think it's ok for your DP/H to use DEET, mine did in India. As long as it doesn't come into contact with you as such. I have to say though he still got bitten and I didn't grin tee hee hee

wear long sleeves etc and long trousers if walking around in the early evening etc and light colours are best

Whitetara Tue 25-Aug-09 19:16:19

I was in India when I found out I was pregnant with DD1 and had been already using DEET and did so every evening and over night for 5 weeks. Had no idea it was bad then read that it was after I got back. Had a panic. Thankfully the lo was ok, but totally wouldn't advise using...

rostbeef Wed 26-Aug-09 13:57:31

thanks for the advice all - off to buy a nice natural Citronella spray and some long cool trousers!

Hersetta Wed 26-Aug-09 14:10:45

I went to the Maldives when i was 24 weeks and used this and didn't get a single bite. My DH used 50% deet stuff and still picked up the odd bite or two. i also used it on our now 22 month old DD when we were in Corfu in June and neither of us got bitten at all.

Smells a bit rank but it certainly does the job and is all natural. _8?ie=UTF8&s=drugstore&qid=1251292136&sr=8-8

It also comes in a pump spay or roll on - would reccommend to all pg woman.

Thandeka Wed 26-Aug-09 14:15:35

I used citronella in Thailand but it made me feel ill so occasionally I had to use DEET.

Turns out when I got back I had an MMC but think emby had stopped growing just as we were out there but even so will always wonder about the citronella/deet. But then it almost defo wasn't it- just one of those things.

Citronella is an essential oil and you are supposed to avoid using essential oils in pregnancy aren't you?

Jolibee Wed 26-Aug-09 14:39:20

If you are just going to Spain which isn't malaria/dengue etc prone then I'd go the citronella route.

If you are travelling somewhere more exotic then you've got to weigh up which is worse malaria etc or DEET.

It's a horrible horrible decision. We live in the tropics in a dengue infested area and have had to conclude dengue is a lot worse than DEET. I've had to use it through both pregnancies and on the babies. Whenever possible i.e. during the day when the little flying muchers aren't out much we just put the DEET on the kids clothes to keep the mossies at bay and that seems to work.

You can get 'Kids OFF' which has 20% DEET in it if you do go the DEET route. However my last watch started tarnishing from the DEET.... not nice stuff at all.

Jolibee Wed 26-Aug-09 14:43:22

I am so sorry rostbeef I skim read your post and didn't registar anaphalatic shock.

theDMplagiarisedLeonie Wed 26-Aug-09 14:48:16

Message withdrawn

silverten Wed 26-Aug-09 17:12:13

I had this problem to solve a few weeks ago.

I read some American pages- from their CDC or FDA or something like that- the body they use to approve medicines, basically. They have a page containing all known credible information about particular chemicals, including the effects on the foetus. Given that it was the American government funding it, and knowing the Yanks' proclivity for sueing with anything that hasn't been 100% proved, I thought this was a pretty good source of information.

From what I can remember:

DEET is OK (used for years, plenty of evidence suggesting it is reasonably safe) but is recommended in low concentration.

Some essential oils should be used with caution- just because they are 'natural', does not mean they are safe! There are two types of citronella oil (lemon citronella and something else? can't remember) and one of them is definitely not recommended in pregnancy

Never found a totally satisfactory answer: I was going to try and get a low concentration of DEET but ran out of time so didn't bother with anything in the end. I was only going to France so wasn't worried about malaria. If I was going to Africa I would personally choose DEET as malaria is so much worse.

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