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Mosquitos suck, so which repellent is best to deter them: Deet or Picaridin?

Written By: Jonathon Klein

Whether you’re deployed or sitting on your back porch, mosquitos can ruin your time outside.

My grandfather spent World War II in the Pacific Theater, island hopping from one inhospitable jungle to the next. And though I never met him, my mom told me the stories he brought back. They weren’t of his combat, which saw him earn a Purple Heart— his statement remained steadfastly, “We were boys shooting at other boys” — but of the rank snake- and mosquito-infested wilderness. His kingdom for mosquito repellent.

Today, we have Deet and Picaridin, two highly effective forms of mosquito repellent that I’m sure would’ve made my grandfather’s experience slightly less awful. Today, these compounds improve the lives of soldiers and civilians around the world and help fight dengue fever, malaria, and a host of other mosquito-borne illnesses and diseases.

But to many, they’re just things we spray onto ourselves and our children when trudging through other inhospitable jungles in countries we definitely aren’t actually in. Most don’t think about the differences between the two, what they help achieve, how many people they protect, or the real difference between deet and picaridin.

That’s where Task & Purpose’s info editors come in. Let’s get into all that and drop you some knowledge.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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News, culture, and analysis by and for the military community. Talk to us at tips@taskandpurpose.com or slide into our DMs.

Task & Purpose launched in 2014 to provide authentic and unfiltered perspectives on military and veterans issues in the post-9/11 era.

National security touches on just about every aspect of American society, but too often, those who are most responsible for that security get stereotyped, ignored, or misrepresented by the media. Our digital publication gives a voice to the service members, veterans, and military families who know better than anyone else the impact the Global War on Terror has made on our country.

We fulfill our mission through unapologetic investigative reporting, story-telling, and analysis of cultural issues and current affairs.

Task & Purpose’s team of veterans, military family members, and journalists who have covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can tell the stories of the military and veterans communities — not just because we’re paying attention, but because our personal and professional experiences with conflict compel us.

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

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Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
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Halfway Anywhere
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