Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug science, "experiments," etc.

Experts: Questions about DEET

(3 posts)
  1. cilecto

    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085


    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Mar 11 2014 15:52:10

    Login to Send PM

    Hi, I've read that DEET (bug repellent) does not work because it does not confound BB's detection mechanism the way it does that of other insects.
    I've also read that it doesn't work because it wears out.
    Which is true of BB? Or is there some other explanation of why DEET is not advised (or is it)?
    Can DEET cause BB to scatter?

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  2. bed-bugscouk

    Joined: Apr '07
    Posts: 15,666


    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Mar 11 2014 16:42:39

    Login to Send PM


    The answer lies in a question which is still unanswered, i.e how does DEET work. Although it is a well documented insect repellent for some species, it does not work for all. The main theory is that DEET somehow confuses the chemo-sensors of insects so they cant find their prey.

    With bedbugs they are sensing CO2 to give the initial cue lure to say that food is around and they hone in on the location using CO2 sensing cells on the front legs to work out direction and then switch to heat when close to work out the best feeding site.

    As such DEET would only work for bedbugs if it masked CO2 and made you thermally neutral to the room.

    It is therefore not an issue of scattering but of the fact that it does no good. The reality of that is that if its not going to do any good why use it? Why expose someone to a source of a chemical that will not actually have any benefit. I am not saying that the side effects of DEET are something that you should be overly worried about but there is logic in keeping its abilities in the draw until needed.

    Hope that answers in a way that makes sense.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  3. Butterfly1972

    senior member
    Joined: Jan '14
    Posts: 415


    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Mar 11 2014 16:43:34

    Login to Send PM

    Interesting questions, Cilecto. And interesting points made by David.....and it makes sense as to why the DEET doesn't work. Looking forward to see if any other experts weigh in on their thoughts.

RSS feed for this topic


You must log in to post.

280,509 posts in 46,594 topics over 142 months by 20,551 of 21,418 members. Latest: Nicky, pestbreaker, TRAY