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DEET is intended for use on your skin and can, in high concentrations, erode plastics and other synthetic materials. Therefore, you should not apply it to your clothing, backpack or other accessories. Permethrin, on the other hand, is safe to apply to most materials and will provide additional mosquito repellent properties against ticks and mosquitoes. Apply it to clothing, umbrellas, camping accessories and tents to create a repellent environment.