Traditional Citronella Candles Useless In Keeping Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Away

February 27, 2017

The warming weather means our favorite pesky summer insect will be back, the mosquito. As we prepare for their inevitable arrival and the Zika virus still a threat, scientist have found citronella candles, bracelets containing herbal extracts and sonic mosquito repelling units are useless in repelling the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and in many cases actually attracted the pests.  Of the 11 types of repellents tested, only those with the highest level of the chemical DEET was the most effective and oil of lemon eucalyptus (and even these aren't 100% effective).  The best protection is to apply DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus while wearing long sleeved shirts and pants and avoid outdoors in the dawn and dusk hours.  Another trick to keep biting pests away, offered by Doctor Jonathan Day, a mosquito expert at the University of Florida, is wind.  A breeze of 1 mph or more makes it difficult for mosquitoes to fly. So bring out the portable fans turn them on.  However direct them to the lower part of your body as mosquitoes tend to fly very close to the ground to avoid wind.

SOURCE: Science Magazone & Prevention Magazine

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