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What do burning coffee, eating bananas and drinking gin and tonic have in common? They are among the unconventional mosquito repellents people say they use.
Last summer, New Mexico State University professors in the College of Arts and Sciences: Immo Hansen, associate professor in biology and principle investigator of NMSU's Hansen Lab, and Mary Alice Scott, associate professor of anthropology, released a survey seeking homemade mosquito repellent methods and strategies.
Goal - Repellents - Products - Future - Study
The goal was to discover cheaper and more easily available repellents beyond commercial products to test them in a future study against traditional repellents such as DEET.
They received responses from more than 5,000 participants and recently released a paper detailing their findings. The survey was available in English, Spanish and Portuguese and was distributed in countries in which residents were likely to speak one these languages. In addition to open-ended questions about repellents, there was a multiple-choice question listing 13 repellent control methods.
Precursor - Research - Scott - Residents - Veracruz
As a precursor to this research, Scott previously observed residents of Veracruz, Mexico, using three different methods to repel mosquitoes.
"These were burning mosquito coils that were commercially produced, though I did not learn what the ingredients of these coils were, sprinkling small amounts of gasoline around the perimeter of an area to be protected from mosquitoes, although this was probably the least common method, and burning bundles of dried herbs, which I believe was to produce smoke to keep mosquitoes away since different herbs were used at different times," she said. "I did not test the effectiveness of any of these techniques, so I can't say how effective they are.
Responses - Table - Techniques - People - Stuff
"From the responses, we compiled a table of more than 200 techniques people use, from stuff they eat or drink – such as garlic or gin and tonics – to burning various herbs, plants, and even animal dung, to stuff...
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