from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The Zika virus has highlighted how much some of us hate mosquitoes. These biting insects aren’t just annoying. They also spread horrible diseases. Previously, we’ve mentioned some plans for destroying all mosquitoes, but that’s probably not the most environmentally-friendly way to go about preventing the spread of mosquito-borne infections. Also, some people seem to attract more bites than others, but how well do mosquito repellents actually work, anyway?
- DEET (aka N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the standard mosquito repellent, but there are a few other active ingredients that work about as well (or better in some cases). Products with picaridin and IR 3535 work about as well as DEET, and the oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD) is a natural insect repellent that the CDC recommends. [url]
- Another natural mosquito repellent comes from sweetgrass, a plant native to northern North America. Sweetgrass has been tested to work about as well as DEET for at least a few minutes, and researchers are trying to isolate the active ingredients that may keep pesky insects away. [url]
- The use of DDT is controversial for preventing the spread of the Zika virus. The Zika virus doesn’t kill adult humans, so the use of DDT and its effect on human health needs to be considered carefully before spraying it in an untargeted fashion. [url]
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