According to the American Mosquito Control Association, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged. DEET was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and registered for use by the general public in 1957. Decades of empirical testing of more than 20,000 other compounds have not identified any other repellent products with the same duration of protection and broad-spectrum effectiveness of DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that all family members over the age of two months can use DEET-based repellents with up to 30% concentration with confidence.
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Source: American Mosquito Control Association, American Academy of Pediatrics