Mosquito repellents. Operating principle
Summer is fruitful not only for berries and mushrooms, but also for blood-sucking insects. Mosquitoes are considered especially unpleasant among them, as midges usually do not fly at night, but these saboteurs like to attack sleeping people. There is no question of any rest in this case: either a person is constantly bitten, or he is combing marks left from the previous battle, or waiting nervously for bites under the ongoing “bzz-bzz-bzz”.
Mosquito repellents in such a situation - just salvation, but their choice should be approached wisely. There are a great number of such drugs, in addition, about 50 new mosquito repellents are registered annually.
Mosquito repellent may be:
- for personal protection, aimed at fencing from the bloodsuckers of a particular person;
- collective protection, designed to protect the space.
According to the principle of action, a mosquito repellent can be:
- insecticide (fumigators) - killing;
- repellent - scaring.
Electric lamp-traps and ultrasonic devices are distinguished into a separate category.
In this article we will describe in detail about repellents - scaring agents. A person after using such a product seems to be "inedible" for mosquitoes. These drugs are available in various forms, in addition, they can vary greatly in composition. Depending on their constituent components, mosquito repellents are divided into natural (based on essential oils) and chemical.
Repellents based on natural substances
Insect repellents based on natural ingredients have appeared on the basis of hundreds of popular recipes from flying bloodsuckers. After all, it is no secret to anyone that very odorous substances scare away this harmful animal. For example, to get rid of midges use vanilla. And what flavors do not like mosquitoes? As it turned out, they absolutely can not stand the smell of tomato leaves, valerian, carnation flowers, green basil, anise essential oils, cedar and eucalyptus. A novelty has also appeared on the market - candles and spirals with citronella oil (this is a herb that grows only in Ceylon), which scare away bloodsuckers when burning / heating.
It remains to understand how effective such tools. According to experts, they show rather weak results: such repellents are short-lived, protect against mosquitoes rather weakly and do not provide 100% protection.
In addition, they can not be called completely safe: essential oils at elevated concentrations cause migraine, itching, rash, cough, sore throat, and may also be allergens.
Mosquito repellents contain certain components:
- Diethyltoluamide, or DEET. This substance was developed in 1946 by American scientists, and since then it has been used in many repellents. There was a lot of controversy about how exactly the substance works, but the truth turned out to be banal: mosquitoes simply do not like the smell. Moreover, scientists have proved that DEET has less and less influence on bloodsuckers and they become immune to it.
- Carboxyte and oxamate are substances with a similar effect.
- Isopropanol is found in all mosquito aerosols.
- Various perfumes and binding components.
The effectiveness of these tools is good enough, but they can not be called safe.
The degree of risk depending on the concentration of active substances
It all depends on the concentration of the active substance:
- 40% - the maximum permissible value at the risk of a risk to human health
- 25-30% - can be used by adult healthy people without harm to the body, but protection will be weaker, and its action will continue for no more than 2-3 hours;
- 10-15% - low concentration and low degree of protection, suitable for people with poorer health and adolescents.
Important: on the label of any product there is information on how old it can be used and whether it is suitable for pregnant women.
Forms of release
Mosquito repellents come in a variety of forms. Here are the most popular options:
- Cream, milk, gel - a variety of pasty substances that need to be applied directly to the skin. The concentration of repellent substances in them is usually reduced, as they are in direct contact with the person. At the same time, mosquitoes can fly up close enough, but at the same time the subject of their dreams turns out to be “inedible”.
- Spray - liquid in a bottle with a spray. It is applied both on the skin and on clothing, depending on the information on the label. Oil sprays are considered the most effective, their manufacturers promise protection up to 7 days.This is nothing more than an advertising move, as nobody will wash the oily sticky substance off for a whole week. In addition, the smell of sweat, mixing with the smell of any means for mosquitoes, makes a person very attractive to bloodsuckers.
- Plates for electrofumigators in most cases contain insecticides that kill insects, so they are not repellents, but some of them still have a deterrent effect.
- Candles and spirals - we wrote about them above.
- The repellent aerosol is the easiest to use, one of the most effective, but also the most harmful at the same time. Do not apply to children, and adults should be used with caution so as not to inhale the contents when spraying.
- Fen-repellent - a battery-powered device that accelerates the active substance around a person with a stream of air. The main drawback is buzzing.
- The repellent bracelet. A relatively new invention, developed to a greater extent for kids. It is put on a hand (to small children - on a foot) and frightens off mosquitoes with special aromatic impregnation. The main drawback is that it is not declared to Rospotrebnadzor for certification, so it’s impossible to talk about its safety, especially, as stated, safety for children.
Repellents: customer reviews
A careful study of the different opinions about the use of this product can be concluded that it is quite good to help protect against insects. Only individual preferences differ: some choose aerosols, others - creams with DETA, and some - only products based on natural ingredients. The question of the safety of repellents remains open for most buyers, but more conscious citizens follow all the requirements of the instructions and therefore minimize the risk to health.