Scientists bust citronella candle mozzie myth

Do you think that lighting a citronella candle will drive off mosquitoes? Think again.

According to research published in the Journal of Insect Science‚ the candles don’t work.

Researchers tested 11 different repellents using Aedes aegypti female mosquitoes.

These are the mosquitoes that spread diseases like Zika.

They stuck the mosquitoes in a cage in a wind tunnel‚ and then positioned a person upwind of them to see how they moved.

That person was equipped with spray-on repellents or with various devices.

The researchers report‚ “The citronella candle had no effect.”

To be more precise‚ at one metre 88.82% of the mosquitoes buzzed towards a person with no repellents at all.

When the human bait was using the candle‚ that went up to 90.95% of mosquitoes.

It wasn’t the worst performer on the list of repellents. The researchers found the sonic mosquito repeller attracted 91.17% of mosquitoes‚ and bracelets attracted 91.31%.

“We are not aware of any scientific study showing that mosquitoes can be repelled by sound waves and therefore we consider these devices as the modern equivalent of snake oil‚” the researchers said.

“The only wearable device that reduced mosquito attraction rates was the OFF! Clip-on Metofluthrin nebuliser‚” the researchers reported.

Out of the spray-on repellents the researchers found that the ones containing N.N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide and p-menthane-3‚8-diol worked best. – TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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