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About mosquito and tick repellents

by Dawn H. Gouge1,2, Shujuan (Lucy) Li2, Shaku Nair2, Kathleen Walker1, Christopher S. Bibbs3

1Department of Entomology – College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, University of Arizona; 2Cooperative Extension – Arizona Pest Management Center, University of Arizona; 3Anastasia Mosquito Control District, FL

Introduction

Personal repellents (often referred to as “bug sprays“) are substances applied to skin, clothing, or other surfaces to repel or discourage insects and other arthropods such as ticks from feeding on humans. Repellents help people avoid bites from mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting arthropods that may transmit disease-causing pathogens, and allow them to engage freely in outdoor activities. Continue reading

Deterring Ticks with Citrus and Millipedes

By Sandra Avant
March 8, 2013

Why do birds, monkeys and other animals rub themselves with citrus and creatures like millipedes? One likely reason is because certain plants and arthropods contain natural repellents.

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) at the National Zoological Park in Front Royal, Va., examined citrus compounds and millipedes for effectiveness against ticks. John Carroll, an entomologist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, Md., and SCBI researcher Paul Weldon tested the responses of ticks to more than 20 different compounds in citrus extracts. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.

Continue reading