Balanced Bites Podcast #420: Is DEET safe? & what bug repellents are the safest?

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#420: listener questions DEET safety, science & alternatives to DEET, picaridin alternative, tick removal and more – so you can have a bug-safe summer!

Picaridin bug spray

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Balanced Bites Podcast #420: Is DEET safe?

Welcome to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! I’m your host, Liz, a nutritional therapy practitioner and best selling author bringing you candid, up-front, myth-busting and thought-provoking conversations about food, fitness, and life. Remember:  The information in this podcast should not be considered personal, individual, or medical advice.

I have spent YEARS researching whether a good multivitamin is truly necessary for overall health. But the truth is, there are a LOT of opinions out there, including from people like me, who love to ask lots of obnoxious, overly detailed questions. But the truth is, if I’m paying attention to how I FEEL, my answer was clear: I will be taking my multivitamin. And it will be from the brand Needed. Needed third-party tests EVERY batch for performance and quality, which is incredibly rare in the supplement industry and also incredibly important to me! To get started with Needed, head to Use code balanced for 20% off your one-time order or your first three months’ subscription. While you’re at it, add Stress Support to your cart. I’m loving that one, too.

About today’s episode. This is another replay of an episode I did on the Liz talks podcast last year, about safer bug spray options. And this. This is an important one folks as we’re getting into the summer and the neck of the woods that I live in the part of the world that I live in. I’m starting to get bit, I’m starting to see big old, swollen bug bites. I’m starting to see ticks all over the place. 

And these little tiny bugs are more than just a nuisance. Some of these bugs, especially ticks and even mosquitoes can actually cause certain people with certain vulnerabilities to get pretty sick. So while I totally love the natural mindset, natural bug repellents type of leanings. I’m a little bit more inclined to parse apart. Some of what we know about. 

The products that many people believe are toxic or have dismissed as toxic, and maybe give a little bit more context around when we actually might want to use something a little [00:01:00] heavier to protect ourselves from certain types of insects and. Whether or not, there are options that are actually just as good as what we feel is maybe questionable, deep in particular. And if it can do the job just as well without any of the perceived downsides, 

Now this episode was a big one when it first aired and it surprised a lot of folks what we had to say myself. And of course the gal that did all the research for me, Amanda Torres from the curious coconut. We got, you know, quite a response around talking. So frankly, about DEET, because what we have to say around it might actually surprise you. 

I think you’ll enjoy this episode. Please listen to it. We talk about everything from protecting yourself from biting insects. I talk about how to remove a tick, which is really, really important stuff. So I highly recommend you tune into that part. And talk about a couple of alternatives. First of all to DEET, but also to essential oils, because I will tell you, I know people swear by them. I have never had that much luck with essential oils, even all the companies that you’re supposed to try when you’re trying essential oils. I never had that much luck with them. 

Particularly when it came to insect repellent. So hopefully this episode answers a lot of questions, some of which you didn’t even know you had and helps you prepare for a really great bug safe summer. 

And remember this summer, we are on an every other week cadence of episodes. We have some really, really great episodes coming up this summer, and I’m really excited for you to hear them, but just so we can all stay in the groove of summer. We’re going every other week, just as I said last week. And one more thing 

 I want to put out a little call for help. I am really, really excited about a new concept that has hit me as the absolute next phase. Of my career. I don’t want to talk about it too much before I have it fully formed in my head. And before I have a real strategy put together. But. 

I am planning to really revamp the Liz talks podcast into something that I think is going to be really, really exciting. And I am looking for a fabulous cohost for the Liz talks podcast. We’ll have a full rebrand. I need someone 40 plus. Who is amazing. Hilarious, punchy. Quick-witted. 


With a wicked sense of humor to join me as a cohost. And if that is you send me. Some information about yourself. I’m taking applications, send them over to me, Liz at real food, I want to hear your suggestions. I will not be able to respond to every single email, but I will definitely be reading them and paying attention. 

So again, I’m looking for a co-host Counterpart to myself. full or maybe part-time. 40 plus hilarious, sarcastic. Let me know names. 

All right. Enjoy bug safe summer. 

Liz Wolfe: Okay, here’s our main topic here today, bug spray and the bugs safe summer. So the question that came in originally was really simple is DEET really bad.

Liz Wolfe: And I wanted to expand on this and talk about the more standard like non-natural, natural and air quotes, bug sprays like deet and permean, and. Pick a ride in and also talk about some so-called like natural options, like my favorite, which is Cedar Side. And I’m gonna start with all of this by telling you my bent, my bias.

Liz Wolfe: Many of you have heard this story where I was obsessed with like only natural stuff, therapeutic grade, so-called essential oils with my first daughter. And she had this horrible diaper rash that I kept using essential oils on because I had just, I just thought that was the best way to go and it just kept getting worse.

Liz Wolfe: And I came to realize through this really random accident where I accidentally let a drop of lavender, which we usually think as a super gentle, totally safe oil, it’s in all the baby products. I accidentally got a drop of lavender in her belly button. I know this is just a really wacky story, and it ended up.

Liz Wolfe: Inflaming her belly button like crazy and it clicked sh like her diaper area, she’s reacting to the lavender essential oil. So with that, and also with realizing that the benefit to more sciencey stuff like purified standardized chemicals, and I’ve talked about this in skincare, is that you don’t have to have the same like.

Liz Wolfe: Variability and constituents with chemicals as you might have with so-called natural things like essential oils, which as, yes, I know all things are chemicals, but you know what I mean. Chemicals like lab synthesized stuff can be standardized, can be studied in great detail. Whereas the more natural stuff like essential oils, Which are extremely concentrated with active compounds, we can reasonably expect those constituents to really vary based on season climate, moisture, soil, et cetera.

Liz Wolfe: In some ways, “natural” stuff can be a bit of a wild card – and for those who think that’s hyperbole, we can like at least agree that the natural stuff *can* still cause reactions, so it’s not perfect either. So one of the papers I’m gonna cite here today said, the automatic assumption that botanical repellants are safer than deet, and this is referring to.

Liz Wolfe: All of the bug sprays based around essential oils and other plant constituents. The automatic assumption that botanical repellants are safer than deet is the appeal to nature fallacy, which also drives most of the market for natural repellants. Yet natural repellants have side effects, and this paper is entitled, who’s Afraid of.

Liz Wolfe: DEET fearmongering in papers on botanical repellants. And to be honest, it’s true. The “appeal to nature” (as in, just because it’s “natural” means it’s “better”) is a fallacy; in the same way an “appeal to authority” (as in, “a scientist said it, so it must be true”) – that is a fallacy. It’s a flawed way to reason…but that doesn’t mean it’s always false.

Liz Wolfe: So I also want to note that I know. Many people who have had reactions to things, vaccines, biologics, topicals that are not recognized in the scientific literature and not acknowledged by our major scientific organizations. And it may be that what I’m about to say is like giving too much of a pass to the more chemically stuff.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. But I wanna acknowledge, I don’t, I don’t think it’s conspiratorial to acknowledge that there are reactions that are not documented or that are not acknowledged and thus not documented properly. But in general, in this podcast, I’m relying on what does appear in the scientific literature. So you can take that with as many greens of salt as you like.

Liz Wolfe: As usual. I had a mandatory, as my researcher work up a little dossier for me on this, but again, this is what it is in the literature. So this is what we can tell from the science. But again, I love the combination of like common sense scientific research and just life experience. So hopefully I’m combining a couple of those here.

Liz Wolfe: But for the next sort of portion of this podcast, I’m gonna lean pretty heavily on the scientific literature. So let’s start with deet. The original question, DEET is a colon, I’m gonna say it wrong. Colon cholinesterase inhibitor. I always wanna say cho stair inhibitor, which means it can block the normal breakdown of the neurotransmitter.

Liz Wolfe: Acetylcholine and this is how it could theoretically cause like nervous system issues or toxicity that we hear about in blog posts and in certain, you know, online publications. But I came across a really street level article about this and Discover Magazine called Science Journalism and Bug Spray, and it actually did a really good breakdown and helped outline why the levels of DET that we are exposed to through intermittent use of bug spray is just.

Liz Wolfe: Orders of magnitude too low to make this a big concern, to make deet a big concern, especially for people in areas where things like malaria and yellow fever or dengue are a real problem. So you can Google that if you wanna really bring this down to street level and have something to actually read.

Liz Wolfe: Discover Magazine and the article is Science, journalism and Bug Spray. So this question about deet, I think just we start out on the wrong foot because deet first of all sounds so much like D D T, which is truly toxic. So there’s that. But DEET itself actually has a long history of use. And the safety record isn’t bad as far as the side effects.

Liz Wolfe: Amanda pulled a paper entitled Assessment of Methods used to determine the safety of the topical Insect Repellent n N Ethyl M to, and that’s deet, and this is really interesting to me. There have been 14, 14, 14 reported cases over 70 years of deep use of severe de side effects, including encephalopathy.

Liz Wolfe: So that’s no small thing in very young kids, but there are very few super strong ties that prove causality. Now, if there were more reported cases, we would probably be able to. Establish some sort of causality or some kind of connection. But with 14 reported cases over 70 years, that becomes really, really difficult.

Liz Wolfe: Now again, note that that doesn’t mean there is not causality. As I said before, people’s reactions to chemicals are dismissed all the time is unrelated. And you know, there may be some industry influence there, like DEET is big business, but this is what the published literature on it says now. I thought, this is kind of not funny, it’s awful, but one of the reports mentioned in the literature involved literal, like direct inhalation of a bug bomb that was 98% deep.

Liz Wolfe: So that just is clearly gonna cause problems. Now to quote directly from the paper, even when allowing for a large factor of under-reporting. So they actually did build in a, a pretty decent, uh, factor of under-reporting, which means they assumed that they were not getting. All of the adverse events that they were not being reported.

Liz Wolfe: The incidents of 14 reported cases of de associated encephalopathy since 1957 is small when considered against the context of an estimated 200 million applications of deep worldwide. Each year, some individuals can develop allergic responses to deet, which result in serious reactions through even small exposures.

Liz Wolfe: Now, I have a bit of a problem with this, but. Okay. Because as anyone who has been harmed by a chemical knows, it doesn’t matter what the chances of something are when you become the exception. So I have compassion for that. At the same time, I think that this safety profile probably stands up to many other substances and perhaps even the risk of getting bitten by a disease carrying insect, especially if that disease is yellow fever.

Liz Wolfe: So here’s another thing that I thought was really interesting, the E W G, which is not perfect, but it is useful. The E W G gives DEET a five, which looks bad, but when you look at the category breakdown, it actually gives it a green, like a green light slash low risk in cancer allergies and immunotoxicity.

Liz Wolfe: Developmental and re, this is a terrible word, re ingredient of toxicity. And then a yellow slash five in use restrictions because it’s not safe for use in cosmetics. Maybe because, and I’m completely pulling this out of my tush here, but maybe because like with sunscreen, which we’ll talk about in a moment, cosmetics by nature might be prone to enhancing skin penetration of diet, which as I’ll talk about.

Liz Wolfe: In a little bit can totally change the toxicity profile. So one of the things I’m gonna talk about later is sunscreen plus D together, which is a complete no-no. And you’ll understand more what I’m talking about. So now it’s time to talk about how different substances used together can compound the negative effects.

Liz Wolfe: So the paper also stated, and this was illuminating for me, that illnesses reported by service personnel returning from the Gulf War have been linked to synergistic effects of deet used alongside permean, which I’ll talk about. It’s an insecticide that’s like actually impregnated into clothing. That’s how you use it.

Liz Wolfe: And Pyridostigmine Pyridostigmine bromide a prophylactic agent against the effects of nerve gas. That’s the end of that quote, and this is absolutely awful, and in some ways also encouraging because this type of combined exposure is extremely unlikely and easily controlled. That said, the combination of permean and deet, again, permean being more common obviously than nerve gas, what we were talking about before, these really awful effects are from the combination of deet, permean, and nerve gas.

Liz Wolfe: But just for everyday use, like we actually have some DEET stuff in our garage and some permean in our garage that I used on our clothing when we were actually going through the woods during tick season. So the combination of deet and permean together, the combination of de permean and nerve gas is completely toxic.

Liz Wolfe: The combination of DEET and permean is not great. It’s much more likely to cause problems than absolutely should 100% be avoided. So like, don’t. Impregnate your clothing with permean and then spray det over it. Don’t get permean on your skin, which I don’t think you’re supposed to anyway. It’s for your clothing.

Liz Wolfe: And then spray de on top. Just, you know, keep them completely separate, always. And unfortunately, the study that said that did not have a mechanism for the compounding of toxicity, they don’t know why that happens. They just know it does. So again, First of all, avoid the combination of nerve gas, deet, and permean, but for sure avoid the more common potential combination of permean and deet.

Liz Wolfe: Now all that context out there. Here’s what I think about deet, and it’s the same conclusion Amanda came to DEET is probably safe for mosquito and tick bite protection, especially in situations where you’re really gonna be in tick territory or needing to be safe from diseases like yellow fever, malaria, or dengue.

Liz Wolfe: It has a decent safety profile. Now, I do not mess with ticks. So if I was going camping in the wilderness or for a long walk in the woods, I would probably opt for DEET or permean, and that’s permean coated clothing, which I’ll talk about in a moment. Obviously, I would not use them together. I would ideally be wearing clothing that I could spray the DEET on just to be super cautious.

Liz Wolfe: But obviously in the summer that’s not always gonna be the case. So in that case, I’d probably just spray it on my skin and make sure to bathe before going to bed. But I will say like I’m not walking through heavy underbrush on a normal basis. So my normal everyday tick repellent, like for walks or for playing in the yard would be cedar side, which is more natural.

Liz Wolfe: It’s just like red cedar oil. And I think a good way to just like change it up, change my exposures up. If I’m gonna use deep now, and then I’m gonna try and use something different that works just as well in other situations. I just think it’s always good to sort of use different. Things so you’re not constantly using one chemical.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, especially during the summer when you’re needing to protect yourself more frequently. Now, here’s something really important. You should not use de especially, but likely any insect repellent if you’re also going to use sunscreen, so you should not layer them. So at the very least, it’s recommended that if you need to use both, you put sunscreen on first and then you’re repellent.

Liz Wolfe: So even the FDA and CDC are really specific about this, and this is actually funny because both our pediatrician and Amanda, my researcher, emailed me about this on the same day and I had never heard it before. And the deal is sunscreen ingredients probably. Increase the penetration of chemicals in repellent, and even more so if you’re using sunscreen properly.

Liz Wolfe: So if you’re reapplying every few hours, like there’s no way to not end up eventually layering your sunscreen over the bug spray. So it stands to reason that while this is more of an issue with deet, you could also really. Bake in those essential oils you’re using too. So just don’t layer the two. And this has inspired me to kind of look differently at like our zinc based, um, combination.

Liz Wolfe: Like it’s a zinc sunscreen combined with some bug repellent, essential oils. I think it’s probably okay, but very specifically with deet. Do not use those together. Sunscreen and deet, and I’ll read exactly what I, our pediatrician sent me here in a second. Really interesting. So in that case, you would like spray, bug spray on your clothes and then put sunscreen on your exposed skin.

Liz Wolfe: Or you could also use one of the alternatives for bug spray. Like if you like the natural stuff best, you could use what I’ll talk about in a second, which are like the stickers and the the bracelets, the essential oil infused bracelets. Which never worked that well for us, but I know people that do swear by them.

Liz Wolfe: So again, the question was about deet, but I will also point out something that I could have just pointed out from the very beginning. Pick a write-in, which is a newer repellent. Newer as in newer than deet, but it was actually first synthesized in the 1980s. It. Replicates, I guess synthetically. A compound in black pepper and picker RightIn actually seems to last longer, repel more arthropods than deet.

Liz Wolfe: And unlike deet, it won’t dissolve plastic or synthetic fibers. So that’s great. And it’s odorless. That’s another big, big bonus. So I would Google pick Arien, P I C A R I D I N, Google pick Arien fact sheet to learn a little bit more about it. But note that Google search tends to bring up Permean and pick a RightIn together.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know why, because they’re not the same. Maybe like a Permean product also will use pick a RightIn simultaneously, but you can get, just pick a RightIn and look for that to learn a little bit more about it. It seems like a really, really good alternative to deet. So let me now talk about Permean, which I keep promising to talk about.

Liz Wolfe: It’s in a product called Sawyer, and you basically spray it all over your clothes. That’s what I mean by impregnate your clothing. Let the clothes dry. And then the clothing are basically embedded with insect killer, and it lasts through quite a few washes. And I used it at a time when I was just, so we were out at the farm.

Liz Wolfe: I was so terrified and paranoid of all the ticks that were out there that I was like, I’m not even leaving the house unless I am in like tick clothing. And I also, I have no idea if this actually worked or not, but I was So you guys, it was an adjustment to live at a farm. I was excited to do all the work with the animals and the plants and all of that, but I did not think about the ticks.

Liz Wolfe: And we had so many ticks outside and brown recluses inside. It was tough. But I had this genius idea when I saw that this Sawyer, uh, permean spray would. Well, you sprayed it on fabric. So I ended up buying some tape, like some fabric tape, and putting it around like certain doorways where the, no, not even kidding you.

Liz Wolfe: The ticks would climb up the doorways, like right where they would maybe sense these human pheromones. The ticks would climb up the doorways and they would quest, which is basically standing there with their front legs out. So hoping that a human would brush by, or an animal would brush by that they could latch onto.

Liz Wolfe: Isn’t that awful? So when I found out about that, I would soak this fabric tape in, in Permean and put it up around our doorways. And I have no idea if it worked or not, but you guys, I was not in my right mind at that moment. It was just not, not my best moment of calm or transcendence for the situation.

Liz Wolfe: But I thought it was an interesting thing and I was thinking, gosh. I don’t wanna spray the more, you know, intense chemicals on my body. Maybe I can just put them on my clothing and they won’t, you know, have a chance to potentially get into my system. And you know, I think that’s a legitimate. Train of thought, but at the same time, I do know that the permean is very toxic to fish.

Liz Wolfe: And I imagine you would inevitably have some runoff from spraying, although I’m not entirely sure. I know some pyrethroids are considered, um, like they actually end up binding to elements in the soil. So it may be that there is no runoff from something like that. Depending on where you use it, but that toxicity profile in the environment kind of gives me a little bit of pause.

Liz Wolfe: So while it works extremely well, it’s probably best only in like certain high risk situations. So maybe you and your kids really like to go, maybe you live in like Lyme country where there’s a lot of Lyme disease, but you love to go for hikes in the woods. You’re super outdoorsy. One of the things that you could do is potentially like.

Liz Wolfe: Use permean spray on your pants if you’re gonna make sure your whole body is covered, kind of like ankles all the way to the wrists and, and your neck as well. But again, the downside to that is that you cannot mix permean and deet. So if you do have exposed skin, then you might end up wanting to use altogether and just spray de on your clothing and on your exposed skin.

Liz Wolfe: Okay, so this is all good information for folks who really just want an easy option or like a really foolproof effective option because these chemicals are very effective, or if you just don’t wanna use essential oils or burn citronella. But what about folks who do want to use more natural stuff? So one idea that came in to me through Instagram was, I loved just the simplicity of this.

Liz Wolfe: Like the breeze should deter mosquitoes from landing on you. And I love that. And I think that’s great when you maybe have like a little bitty one with you that you don’t wanna put anything on. And I actually have a story about. A bug bite situation that we had and our pediatrician, ironically, who has also already been mentioned in this podcast.

Liz Wolfe: And I really also love the idea of these bug bite patches that folks sent over to me that you just like stick on your clothing. So I think we’ll try those for sure. There are also like bracelets infused with repellent essential oils, which is what we used to use when I first was little. They’re infused with like lemon grass, rosemary, probably peppermint, I don’t remember.  

Liz Wolfe: And another brand that was also recommended to me was Murphy’s Naturals. Murphy’s has a mosquito stick where you don’t have to get anything on your hands, which is nice. You kind of apply the repellent like a stick. And there are truly like a million essential oil type blends. And yes, I think they work, but not always for everyone or in all scenarios.

Liz Wolfe: But I do think they’re worth a try. But just keep in mind my lavender story and maybe lean toward the bracelets and the stickers if you’re sensitive or suspect a sensitivity in your children. And I still think as with the, the synthetic chemicals, with the deet, things like that bathe at the end of the day.

Liz Wolfe: Because while essential oils are natural, quote unquote, They can also be irritating with prolonged use and they get everything else smelly. And the carrier oils are oily, oils are oily. So I think no matter what, if you’re stinked up or lathered up in anything at the end of the day, just like get in the shower and use like, I don’t know, like a charcoal soap.

Liz Wolfe: I still use my Beauty Counter charcoal soap all the time for stuff like this. So I think that’s probably, probably the, um, Overarching theme across whether whatever kind of bug spray you’re using is just to get it off of you by the end of the day. So here’s my thought, I’m gonna gather it all up for you.

Liz Wolfe: Use DE or permean clothing. So I mean not together, right? DEET or DEET or permean clothing when you’re in high risk situations like walking through tick thick underbrush or tick infested areas, or like areas where mosquito borne disease is common, but also consider PIC ayin, which should be just as effective as deet with not so many of the downsides.

Liz Wolfe: This might be a better compromise for you if you don’t wanna use the more natural stuff, if you don’t necessarily trust it, but are still unsure about DEET or permean. I’m definitely gonna try pick a ride in. I actually hadn’t even heard of that before this podcast. I’d kind of been suffering around with, you know, I usually use Cedar Side, which is great.

Liz Wolfe: Don’t always wanna smell like cedar though. So, you know, I’ve, I’ve, you know, gotten my share of bug bites over the course of the summer, but I’m excited to try pick a riding. You can also try essential oil patches or infused bracelets on kids, especially in like lower risk situations or a spray if it works for you.

Liz Wolfe: Again, in lower risk situations. I haven’t had success repelling ticks with essential oils, and I’ve tried everything. So my favorite natural-type repellent for ticks is Cedarcide. I’ve been recommending that for years. They have something called Tick Shield, which has performed fabulously for us.

Liz Wolfe: And just as with the others, you shower it off at the end of the day. So here’s what our pediatrician said. So let’s drill down to this. Finally, I think she put it so amazingly well. Number one, use products with the lowest effective concentration of repellent for the level of risk situation. So playing in a backyard with a mode lawn without bodies of water nearby where mosquitoes would, would, you know, hatch may just need lemon eucalyptus oil, like a repellent based on lemon eucalyptus.

Liz Wolfe: And there’s a company around Kansas City called Mindfully Made for You, and they’re just wonderful. And you can order their bug spray. Whereas like hiking in thick woods, as I mentioned, may need a stronger chemical-based repellent. Every situation is a benefit risk ratio. Number two, use chemical-based insect repellants in lotion pump or towelette form instead of an aerosol spray in a pressurized container to decrease inhaling chemical particles from the aerosol.

Liz Wolfe: Try new repellent on a small patch of exposed skin before you apply all over. And that goes especially for kids. And number three, don’t use insect repellent mixed with sunscreen. If you reapply the sunscreen every two hours, as advised you will overexpose yourself to the active ingredients in the repellent.

Liz Wolfe: Okay? So that’s what our pediatrician said. And if you still get bit, the Instagram crowd seems to love the bug bite thing. I actually have one of those. Don’t use it enough clearly, but this is like this little suction sucker thing that I wish I invented that is supposed to really help if you do get bitten.

Liz Wolfe: It like physically pulls, I think venom in whatever’s irritating your bite right out. Either that or it just increases circulation to the area and people just swear by it. And now if a tick gets you, do not burn it. Do not rub Vaseline on it or do anything other than pull it out firmly with tweezers or something like a tick key or a tick like scoop.

Liz Wolfe: I think you can order stuff like that on Amazon. They work much like tweezers, but sometimes they make it a little bit easier if you don’t feel like you’re great at like gripping the tick with the pointed tweezers. You can use a tick key or a tick tick. Uh, ticked off, I think is the, the other brand that we’ve used.

Liz Wolfe: So any tips or tricks to get ticks out without having to do. What I just said actually, risks having the tick, like literally vomit the contents of its insides into your body, which dramatically rises, raises your risk for tick-borne disease. So like all those little old wives tales on the internet, like rubbing Vaseline on it to make it back out on its own.

Liz Wolfe: Or like putting a matchup to the its butts, so it backs out on its own. Anything you do to quote make a tick back out on its own is just a complete no-no, don’t do it. Only use, like pulling it out firmly with tweezers from the base or use something like a tick key or the ticked off dearly. Bob. Which is a technical term deli pop.

Liz Wolfe: And one other question that came in, well, there’s a couple, but another question that came in that I thought was interesting about mosquitoes was, does blood type have anything to do with how much mosquitoes like you? And actually there is, there is truth to this idea that certain blood types are more prone to the bitten by mosquitoes.

Liz Wolfe: So they’re most. Attracted to type O and this was actually studied as recently as 2019. I have no clue as to the quality of the study, but I do know it was studied, so it seems to have some basis in truth, which is terrible. All right. And there were a couple other auxiliary questions. First one was yard spray for mosquitoes, and I read just with a brief online search like it, just did a cursory Google search about mosquito yard spray. So my brief online search, Basically said that sometimes organo phosphates are used, which I believe are not good at all.

Liz Wolfe: But some companies do seem to use pyrethoids. So Permean, I think pyrethoids are some derivative of permean and what companies will tell you as like they’re derived from marigolds or they replicate a compound in marigolds, which is repellent for pests. And I do think these might be okay for, I mean, obviously they’re okay for humans in some respects because you can spray ’em on your clothes and use ’em as a repellent.

Liz Wolfe: And mostly okay for humans and mammals, but they are again, super toxic to fish, which does give me pause. But I live at a lake, so really if you’re getting eaten alive, I, you know, would probably first try pick arid topically or on my clothing. But if they’re just getting you on any exposed area all the time, then you know, Maybe a pyrethroid based yard spray, but I really don’t know enough about that.

Liz Wolfe: And as for our furry friends dogs in particular, which is a big question that I got, I have to say I’ve been disappointed in my experiences with holistic vets because our holistic vet, quote unquote holistic, recommended the Creo collar to us a long, long time ago. And I get it. I think what she was trying to do was recommend something that didn’t actually have to go on the dog’s skin.

Liz Wolfe: But now these callers are being recalled, so I was really upset about that. I kind of didn’t question, and we did it, and then we ended up doing the conventional flea and tick during the part of the year when ticks are really bad, and I don’t know whether that was the right call or not. It’s just so hard when you’re already trying to figure so many other things out for your human babies, and then you’ve gotta figure it out for your canine babies.

Liz Wolfe: But, It’s the call we made and you know, we gotta live with it. I do think that stuff is probably pretty bad. The stuff that you get from the vet, the Creo collars obviously because they’ve been recalled, but one of our dogs would just have the worst skin reactions from Cedar side. She was just a sensitive puppy all around, so that wasn’t gonna work.

Liz Wolfe: And she was literally, well, I shouldn’t say was, I’m just talking about when we were using Cedar Side on her, and she’s like literally the same color as a tick. So finding them on her. Is just impossible. So honestly, I just don’t know what to do for animals. We really, after a while, weren’t doing much at all.

Liz Wolfe: We tried doing Cedar side, we kind of bounced around. Um, so if anyone has any ideas or any knowledge on this that’s not, you know, I don’t, I, I want to know what the research says. I want to know what people do that works, but I also don’t, I wanna avoid like the more fear mongering stuff. So, So just, just be aware of that.

Liz Wolfe: Like I don’t want, like, you know, nature is good. Pharmaceuticals are article that says, you know, you’re killing your dog by using flea and tech medication. Let’s talk about like proposed mechanisms. Let’s talk about why one thing might not be great and what the options might be. So reach out to me if you have any ideas.


Thanks for listening to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! Before you shut down your podcast app, PLEASE take a moment to subscribe and leave a review! It’s a small thing you can do that I appreciate more than you can imagine! And speaking of what we can do for each other, if YOU have a question you’d like to have tackled on this podcast or an interview you’d like to hear, submit the details at Let’s keep unpacking, unraveling, contextualizing and nuance-ing the important questions together so we can be empowered, informed, active participants in our own health and happiness.

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