Picaridin is an Alternative to DEET Mosquito Repellent
Picaridin (RS)-sec-butyl 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)piperidine-1-carboxylate was developed by the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer in the eighties, was approved by the EPA as an insect repellent recently and is marketed in the U.S. under the name Cutter Advanced. It’s been so popular that it’s quite difficult to find.
According to Cutters, 7% picaridin solution effectively repels ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, gnats and fleas. According to studies using U.S. soldiers as guinea pigs and published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology picaridin based repellents gave the same level of protection for similar lengths of time as DEET based repellents with lower levels of irritation.
We’ve never had much luck with the 7% concentration and suspect that most others have had the same experience since most Picaridin based repellents are now 20% which seems to work well.
Picaridin does not dissolve synthetics like DEET and is considered a safe effective alternative.