Protecting yourself from mosquitoes extends beyond the simple inconvenience of an itchy bite. The Asian tiger mosquito, which has spread widely in the US, carries diseases, including encephalitis, dengue, and dog heartworm.
Until now, the most effective repellents have been those that contain DEET or picaridin, though they have some drawbacks. DEET’s odor is strong, and protection only lasts about 2 hours, meaning it must be reapplied frequently. DEET could also have adverse side effects on human health, according to previous reports.
Picaridin – and other natural repellents are considered alternatives to DEET. But scientists wanted to continue to improve upon efficacy and safety with a new formula.
Using plant-based compounds, scientists have created a new repellant that may protect against mosquitoes for up to 8 hours and is less likely to cause immune reactions or penetrate the skin.
The researchers conclude that their compounds represent a new class of promising mosquito repellents that can compete favorably with DEET and picaridin in terms of efficacy and safety.