You know, I never looked at what was in mosquito spray when I was little.

But if I’m being honest, the smell of it actually brings back happy memories of playing outside as a kid. (Much like how I haven’t eaten meat for a long time, but still get this nostalgic excitement when I smell steak sizzling away on someone’s barbecue). But as I got older and made it my business to worry about everything that’ll make me die up until the day I die anyway (what a waste, right?), I stopped using it so much. And got bit a lot more. So what’s in this shiz? Can I safely rock a little layer during my jogging sprees?

Reportedly, yes. A recent study looked at DEET – the stuff in most bug sprays. This colorless liquid was developed back during WWII to ward off creepy crawlies infringing on the quality of a typical soldier’s day at the office.

(Get it? ’cause his name is…”Bugs”…and it’s a war against bugs? *waits with mouth hanging open for your fake consolation laugh*)

People were wary for a while of DEET and some even confused it with DDT (something different that’s been banned). The latter is a cancer-causing horticultural chemical, while the former has indeed been ruled safe for use by humans to repel mosquitoes, black flies, chiggers, and a list of other things that will give me nightmares later if I keep typing about them now. For you or me, that info might induce a dry reaction (“Oh. Good. I can carry on using that thing I was gonna keep using anyway.”) But for overseas folk who die of malaria all the time versus merely being inconvenienced by itchy skin lumps, it’s a little more exciting (“Oh! Good! I can carry on living a bit longer!”)

Since I’m super lucky to be born where I was, I don’t have to worry about dying during cardio hour. Well, not of malaria anyway.

But if I want to tone it down a notch (just in case I don’t believe everything I hear about chemicals being A-okay), I can try less extreme options – especially since accidentally getting the spray in my eyes or nose can be bad. (My face with all its CO2 holes is exactly the place where the bugs bug me most) . Maybe I’ll give a that lemon eucalyptus oil stuff I’ve heard about a try (even though it probably smells horrifying). That way I can rub it all over my face (bonus: people passing will think I’m sweaty and have been working way harder than I have.)

“Scratch at ourselves like cats? Or reek like their piss?”


Naturally, this plan becomes nullified should I get stuck in a gnat-nado. Then, I’mma spray on them chemicals like the Jersey Shore cast does fake tan.

(Aaaand we’ve come full circle with the DTS joke.)