Repellents are substances that repel arthropods (insects and mites).
Since ancient times, people have tried to protect themselves from the bite of blood-sucking insects and ticks with the help of various substances of plant and animal origin. These were mainly strong-smelling products that repel insects with their smell. Modern industry, in addition to natural products, offers a wide range of synthetic repellents.
Especially important is the use of repellents in places endemic for tick-borne encephalitis, malaria and other diseases transmitted by blood-sucking insects.
Repellents are liquid, solid, aerosol, oil-based.
What are repellents?
- Olfactory. These are substances that, when evaporating, repel arthropods at a distance, making their sense of smell insensitive. As a result, mosquitoes and flies lose interest in food. (e.g. DEET, dimethyl phthalate).
- Contact. These repellents repel insects and mites by direct contact. Such repellents rub the skin and clothes (gekamid, indalon).
- Masking. As a rule, these are strong-smelling essential oils that “clog” the smell that is attractive to bloodsucking coming from a person (for example, clove oil, anise, juniper, cedar, eucalyptus).
Read more: How to get rid of mosquitoes?
How to use repellents?
Repellents can be applied to skin or clothing, and soaked in tents and protective mosquito nets. In the case of application to the skin, it is forbidden to rub the product, apply it to the mucous membranes, to damaged skin (skin with a rash, abrasions). In case of contact with mouth and eyes, rinse with plenty of water.
Some repellents can dissolve and deform clothing items made of plastic (buttons, buckles, fasteners).
Repellents should be applied to the skin immediately before visiting an area teeming with insects. Immediately after returning, wash off the remnants of the product with warm water and soap.
Fumigants are isolated separately. These are insecticides – substances that kill, and not just repel insects. Fumigants are widely available on the market in the form of electrical devices (with cardboard tablets, liquid bottles), spirals, etc.
Fumigants are generally toxic to animals and humans and should therefore be used in well ventilated areas or outdoors (spirals). Subject to the rules of use, fumigants do not disturb the well-being and do not harm health.
When using fumigants in the home, remove all food and drink and cover the aquarium. People prone to allergic reactions should be careful.