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Mosquitoes 'ignore insect repellent'

london school of hygiene & tropical medicine deet aedes aegypti dengue yellow fever

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#1 Hum

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 15:37

The widely used insect repellent Deet appears to be losing its effectiveness against mosquitoes, scientists say.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say mosquitoes are first deterred by the substance, but then later ignore it.

They say more research is needed to find alternatives to Deet, which was first developed by the US military.

The research was carried out on Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito that spreads dengue and yellow fever.

The findings are published in the journal Plos One.

Dr James Logan, said: "The more we can understand about how repellents work and how mosquitoes detect them, the better we can work out ways to get around the problem when they do become resistant to repellents."

Deet - or N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide - is one of the most widely used active ingredients in insect repellents. It was developed by the US military, following its experience of jungle warfare during World War II.

For many years, it was not clear exactly how the chemical worked, but recent research suggests that insects simply do not like the smell.

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#2 Dane

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 17:56

Last summer I used a spray that had 80% deet. I had shorts and Tshirt on. I got bit over 30 times. So so so itchy.

This summer I am going to try 100% deet. And one of those battery operated things that keep them like 250ft away.

#3 McKay

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 17:58

They ignored it when I was on deployment too. Soaked my field jacket in Diesel and buried it for a week in the ground. Dug it up and washed it so it still had a faint smell, they hated it.

#4 Detection

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 18:02

The gf uses some spray with citrus in it and never gets bitten abroad

#5 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 18:13

I've had really good luck with putting a dryer sheet in each of my pockets. Yeah it sounds stupid, but it seems to work.

#6 OP Hum

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 22:50

^ Interesting idea.

I know that the smell of fabric softener drives me away. :p

#7 Praetor

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 22:59

Last summer I used a spray that had 80% deet. I had shorts and Tshirt on. I got bit over 30 times. So so so itchy.

This summer I am going to try 100% deet. And one of those battery operated things that keep them like 250ft away.


Last year i used a repellent in the summer; worked some days, others so so; one day i was at a barbecue and it didn't work at all: the mosquitoes had a feast :/. Then i saw one of those battery operated device on a child and guess what? That day she was the only one saved from the mosquitoes bites.