Gear Box

August 02, 2009|By Candus Thomson

When summer comes, DEET is my perfume.

The only downside to taking a DEET bath to ward off mosquitoes is the fear that it kills brain cells as effectively as a Jonas Brothers concert. That, and it eats fishing line, plastic watchbands, tents and sleeping bags.

You can't have everything.

Natrapel, a bug spray with 20 percent Picaridin, does a pretty good job of keeping your blood inside your body. Used in Europe and Australia before being introduced here in 2005, Picaridin ("also known around the world as KBR3023," its Web site says) gums up an insect's ability to locate you by forming a barrier on your skin.

The EPA says normal use of Picaridin "does not present a health concern to the general U.S. population."

Natrapel comes in a 3.5-ounce pump spray or a box of 12 wipes. It lists for $5.99.

- Candus Thomson

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