Repellents are chemical compounds capable of helping humans and animals avoid mosquito bites. Those who spend so much time in areas with a large mosquito population. These products are available in the form of sticks, aerosols, liquids, creams, and pump sprays. These repellents have active ingredients like N-Diethyl-3-Methylbenzamide or DEET, diethyl phthalate, oil of lemon-eucalyptus, diethyl carbate, ethyl hexanediol, metofluthrin, and picaridin.
The Most Effective
DEET has is the most effective of these repellents. These mosquito bite solutions do not kill mosquitoes—they help prevent them from biting. DEET is the gold standard in fighting mosquitoes. It is also effective in keeping ticks, biting flies, fleas, and chiggers. Only picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus have been closest in gaining the same effectiveness. Permethrin is often for shoes, clothes, and camping gear. This repellent also discourages mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects. The effectiveness will remain even after a few washes. Oil of citronella is often in torches, oils, and candles. These products are effective outside when the wind is still.
Arboviruses and the Latest Formulations of Repellents
Studies show that arboviruses are a threat to global health. These are arthropod-borne viruses. Mosquitoes are arthropods and they do carry arboviruses. Using mosquito repellents is a good technique in keeping human and animal populations safe. The obvious problem these days is that it is getting more expensive to apply repellents daily in low-income populations. Scientists are changing repellent formulations to meet the need for a low-cost application of mosquito repellents. Now, there is sustain-release technology and smaller amounts of active ingredients. This reduces the toxicity level on the skin and the number of re-applications.
Scientists are developing NLCs (nanostructured lipid carriers). These are repellents with geraniol (natural repellent) and icaridin (man-made) in a cellulose hydrogel. They prepared the NLCs by solvent or emulsion evaporation. These repellent gels have long shelf lives and good spreadability.
Using atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that these gel repellents have sphere-shaped nanoparticles. They have low permeability, which means the gel repellents will stay on the surfaces for longer. This brings the possibility of creating hybrid formulations. These products could provide improvements in safety, effectiveness, and levels of toxicity.
Transmission and Repellents
Many arboviruses are causing major health concerns around the world. Most of them are tropical ailments many people dismiss. Mosquitoes can carry diseases like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya to humans. The most well-known vector is Aedes aegypti.
That is why many national and international groups are trying hard. They want to lessen or remove the contact between humans and mosquitoes. Making repellents more effective and affordable at the same time has been the main goal. The main target is Aedes aegypti. DEET is the most effective. Next are IR3535 and KB3023 or ICA (icaridin).
ICA comes from pepper. It was first developed and used in the 90s. It is effective in repelling biting insects. But some questioned its harm towards other insects. Oil of citronella has high levels of citronellal and geraniol. The only problem is that this solution is very volatile. The effectiveness is short-lived. Also, experts do not recommend applying this oil on the skin because of irritation.
The most adequate formulation must penetrate the skin a little. It should also have lasting action, prolonged effectiveness, and a pleasant smell. The formulation should also have high stability, resistance to perspiration, and water.
A repellent formulation inside nanoparticles is promising. This decreases the dosages. It also prolongs the length of the release of the active agents. It reduces the number of applications and reduces toxicity. This is a more affordable formulation as well because of the small amounts of active ingredients. Being inside nanoparticles triggers a controlled release. This initiates low permeation and prolonged action.
There is Always a Way to Repel Mosquitoes
Getting better repellents with improved formulation can make your adventures safer. Mosquitoes will go away and leave you alone with more affordable new repellents. The current pandemic is bad enough. You do not need to face arboviruses during these trying times.