By Don Jurries
If you’re looking for a DEET-free solution to scare away those bugs when camping, hiking, or just generally enjoying the outdoors this summer, the Australian-based Colonial Chemical Company has created SKOOT, a personal insecticide and insect repellent based on Pyrethrum.
As part of the Chrysanthemum family, Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide obtained from the dried flowers. Used extensively in the Middle East to repel moths, lice and other insects, Pyrethrum has been around in one form or another for centuries.
DEET swept the world as a cheap, effective and powerful alternative for insecticides and insect repellents after its development by the United States Army in the 1940s. Concerns around DEET’s potentially toxic effects on human health and the environment has given rise to a number of countries reducing concentrations of DEET in insecticides and insect repellents.
To enhance the effect of the pyrethrins in SKOOT, Piperonyl Butoxide, a synergism in a wide variety of pesticides, has been added as an active constituent. SKOOT comes with a precaution to remove or cover fish tanks before spraying, as similar to DEET, Piperonyl Butoxide may have an impact on aquatic organisms even though it was considered low in toxicity by a US EPA Human Health Risk Assessment.
SKOOT comes in a handy 23g travel size that delivers 400 individual sprays of the insect repellent. A metered locking valve and non-removable cap prevents leaking and accidental spray while in your backpack or pocket.
“Made in Australia” by an Australian-owned company, SKOOT can be purchased for approximately A$9-A$10 at various retail outlets.