Insect Repellent with a Sting

I used to be more trusting of the way things worked.  If a product was available for sale, then surely it met standards and was safe.  Then I got older and wiser and learned of stories where the system didn’t catch things.  I worked at an agency whose work was health technology assessment where I learned to be circumspect about drugs and devices even though they were approved for sale in Canada.  While it’s easy enough to think someone must be looking after it all, it’s also true that more information comes out after a product comes to market about its true benefits in the real world and unfortunately some times about harms that weren’t first identified.  Now I do some research before purchase and use.  Except for the other day and the purchase of an insect repellent.  And it’s laughable, really.

I was thinking that all this DEET can’t be good for you and thought I’d try for a less toxic insect repellent.  I found something called Repel ” Natural Insect Repellent”, DEET-Free.  I was in the USA and didn’t have access to the internet so I read the label-it contained Geraniol “a natural active ingredient, effective against mosquitoes for up to 2 hours”.  Geraniol sounds like geranium and perhaps that the source, I thought.  

When back home I looked up research on the product I found that it is supposed to have some repellent effect. However there’s another feature of the repellent.  It attracts bees.  Really? Now that’s not on the label.   It’s humorous, don’t you think that you might not be swatting mosquitoes but you may rival the local roses for the attention of local bees.

I was thinking this might be a good repellent to use in the garden if it kept garden pests away and attracted bees.

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If you see someone who is not bothered by mosquitoes but is running from bees, it’ll be me.

Have you ever come across products where you wonder how it came to market when its benefits are sometimes at cross purposes?

4 thoughts on “Insect Repellent with a Sting

    1. I looked for bear grease the last time I was in the local pharmacy but the shelf was empty. Wouldn’t bear grease attract other bears or wild animals? It would be good if you were trying to squeeze through small spaces.

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