June 3rd

Insect Repellent Awareness Day -

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Insect Repellent Awareness Day, observed on June 3rd, isn’t just about celebrating an important cause, but also about raising awareness of the critical role that insect repellents play in our everyday lives. Around the world, insects like mosquitoes and ticks are known to transmit some deadly diseases. Therefore, it’s crucial that we safeguard ourselves against these health threats effectively.

On this day, we encourage everyone to become informed about the proper application of insect repellents, explore the variety of options available in the market, and understand the diseases that can be kept at bay by using them. Let’s dive deeper into the essentials of battling insect-borne diseases on this noteworthy day.

History of Insect Repellent Awareness Day

The origin of insect repellent dates back to ancient civilizations, where people typically used plant-based extracts, smoke, and strong-stemming oils to deter insects.

In the 1900s, the substance called dimethyl phthalate was identified as an effective solution against insect threats. During the Second World War, the U.S. Army developed DEET (diethyltoluamide) as a response to their exposure to jungle warfare, and it was subsequently released for public usage in 1957.

The 1980s saw the creation of Picaridin, another significant insect deterrent, by Bayer, a German organization. This product made it to American markets in 2005.

In recent times, there have been extensive efforts to develop and push for natural repellents over synthetic ones due to potential health hazards. This has resulted in an increased prevalence of materials such as citronella, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oils in insect repellents.

Nowadays, shoppers can select from an extensive range of both synthetic and natural insect deterrents, all aimed at protecting each individual from insect stings and the diseases they may carry, such as malaria, dengue, and Zika.

Insect Repellent Awareness Day Timeline

Smoke as a Repellent

In ancient China and India, people burnt incense to repel insects from homes and temples. This method is still popular today.

Early Greek Repellents

Ancient Greeks used certain herbs and plants, such as basil, to ward off insects.

Natural Insect Repellents

During the medieval period, certain plants were cultivated with the purpose of repelling insects such as ants, flies, and mosquitoes.

Invention of DEET

DEET was developed by the U.S. Army and later licensed for public use. Widely recommended for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects.

Introduction of Picaridin

Picaridin, also known as Icaridin, was introduced as an alternative to DEET. It's often preferred due to a less offensive smell and feeling on the skin.

Continued Development

Advancements in insect repellent technology continue today, with a focus on safe, natural options and long-lasting, effective formulas.

Ideas to Celebrate Insect Repellent Awareness Day

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Insect Repellent Workshop

Host a local community workshop where you share information about insect repellents, their importance, and different DIY recipes to create them. Make sure participants get to take home samples of what they create.

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Pest-Free Public Service Event

Collaborate with local pest control companies to provide pest control services to underserved communities. This reinforces the importance of repellents and helps those who may not afford constant pest control.

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‘Dress Up Like a Bug’ Day

Encourage your children's school to hold a 'Dress Up Like a Bug' day where students can learn all about different insects and how to protect themselves from the harmful ones with the use of insect repellents.

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Outdoor Group Camping

Planning an overnight group camping trip where all participants bring their insect repellents might make the day extra memorable. During the camping trip, discuss the various insect repellents each participant brought and their effectiveness.

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Insect Repellent Awareness Social Media Challenge

Start a social media challenge where people share their favourite types of insect repellents, why they love them, and how they protect them. This can rapidly spread awareness on a larger scale.

8 Interesting Facts About Insect Repellent


DEET Led the Way

By far the most common active ingredient in insect repellents is DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), which was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946. It is widely valued for its effectiveness against mosquitos, ticks, fleas, chiggers and many other insects.


Smelly Solution

Certain substances with strong smells such as garlic, lemongrass, and citronella are believed to repel insects. They work largely by masking the scent of humans, making it harder for insects to locate their targets.


Aerosol Came Later

Although insect repellent has been around since the 19th century, the aerosol version wasn't invented till about 1951. The convenience and effectiveness of this application method quickly made it the most popular format.


Ultrasonic Repellents

Ultrasonic devices claim to emit high-frequency sounds that are supposed to deter insects and pests. But there's no concrete evidence to support that these devices actually work.


Plant-based Repellents

Many plant-based substances such as eucalyptus oil and citronella have been used as natural insect repellents. However, synthetic repellents like DEET provide a longer-lasting protection.


Impact on Insects

Insect repellents don't kill insects. Instead, they simply make the environment unappealing or disorient the insects. DEET, for instance, confuses insects and makes it hard for them to recognize the scent of their targets.


Batoning Down the Resistance

Some insects have developed resistance to certain types of insect repellents, much as they can to pesticides. This is a growing concern among scientists and could impact the effectiveness of repellents in the future.


Expiration Dates Matter

Insect repellents do expire. The expiration date usually indicates the period over which the active ingredient remains at optimal strength. Post this date, the repellent may still work, but won't be as effective.

Insect Repellent Awareness Day FAQs

Next Insect Repellent Awareness Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 June 3rd Saturday
2024 June 3rd Monday
2025 June 3rd Tuesday
2026 June 3rd Wednesday
2027 June 3rd Thursday
What is the pattern? Every June 3rd

Insect Repellent Awareness Day Word Search

  • Insect
  • Repellent
  • Mosquito
  • Protection
  • Prevention
  • Bugs