Can Your Fragrance Repel Mosquitoes?
With the coming of cooler weather comes a decrease in annoying bugs like mosquitoes. Which is good. Mosquitoes carry and can transmit many diseases, malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, encephalitis, to name only a few of the many. The statistics are startling, 700 million people get a mosquito borne illness each year and of those, more than 1 million die. From a little insect that we swat at, are annoyed with, but generally are not scared of.
But, in an effort to determine what is best to use to fight off these pesky little life threateners, researchers have once again tested different products that are aimed at keeping mosquitoes off of humans. They tested many insect repellents, a vitamin B patch and 2 different fragrances, Avon Skin So Soft bath oil and Victoria’s Secret Bombshell. An eclectic mix, to be sure.
So, among the insect repellents there were 3 that contain DEET and those were the best by far. Among those without DEET, one worked fairly well, but the others might as well have been non-existent. Same with the vitamin B patch, marketed for health issues, but supposedly having a repelling effect on mosquitoes. This doesn’t work at all.
This is disappointing for those who are concerned about the effects of DEET, which some consider not safe to use. But, the researchers also tested Avon Skin So Soft bath oil and it worked as well as the DEET containing repellents. And Victoria’s Secret Bombshell fragrance also repelled the mosquitoes. So much for perfume and scents attracting mosquitos. I guess it would depend on which one you use.
I remember a perfume which a couple of friends of mine used in the ‘80s that, to me, smelled like Raid. Seriously, I hated the stuff, but as far as I know, it was never tested in a mosquito field. My feeling is, it would have kept all insects, arachnids and any other crawling/flying thing far, far away. Or maybe it was just me, but I thought they should have save about $40 and bought a can of Raid. I’m not a huge fan of fragrance.
And, yes the Victoria’s Secret fragrance kept the mosquitoes away for up to 2 hours, but it also cost $52. Certainly not a budget friendly option. Especially when you have to reapply it every 2 hours. I’m sure the Skin So Soft is better on the pocket book, but I know people who have experienced difficulty breathing when around Skin So Soft.
Basically it’s a personal choice. Some feel the possible effects of DEET are outweighed by the way it repels the mosquitoes. Some would take their chances with the natural, DEET-free options. Others might like the fragrances. But whatever you use, by all means, when spring comes, use something. Disease carrying mosquitoes seem to be everywhere.