Why mosquito repellents are not effective


As soon as the summer season comes, the outbreak of mosquitoes has started to increase and diseases related to it have also started to spread. There are many types of mosquito repellants available in the market in the form of liquid, coils or mats and we are using them at home as well. But the mosquito neither dies nor escapes. This means that anti-mosquito drugs are not effective.

Different mosquito repellents work in different ways. Some repel mosquitoes and some kill them. Liquid mosquito repellent is used the most. Mosquito repellent is a mixed liquid that turns into a vapor when slightly heated. There is a mixture of three types of chemicals inside the refill. 1) Insecticide – It repels mosquitoes. 2) Stabilizer/Antioxidant – It prevents the insecticide from oxidizing due to heat. 3) Perfume – Perfume is used in the liquid so that the smell does not spread.

Transfluthrin is an important part of this mixture. It paralyzes the mosquito after touching its skin. After paralysis, the speed of the mosquito slows down and its nervous system is damaged. But this mixture is not toxic to all types of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are constantly changing and many mosquitoes develop resistance to these mixtures.

Mosquito repellants are mainly of two types. Chemical Repellents – These are made from chemicals like Dib or Dit, Picardion or Icardion, IR 3535. Most of these can be applied directly to the skin.

Spatial Repellents – It is not applied directly to the skin, rather it works by evaporation. For example coils, repellent sprays, vaporizers and mats.

Surprisingly, despite such advanced technology, mosquito repellants are becoming ineffective. According to Sriram Testing Laboratory, a drug testing institute, there may be three main reasons for this.

First- every year different species of mosquitos spread like- Aedes, Anophalis, Culax, Culiceta, Mansonia, Sorophoro, Taxorinsitis, Vemia etc. The same type of repellent cannot be effective for everyone. Secondly, due to the excessive use of repellants, resistance develops in mosquitoes. Third – Low amount of active ingredients in the product. Many times companies change their product mix to save costs.

According to Kailash Gupta of All India Chemists Federation, the reason why mosquito repellent is not effective is pollution. Also, mosquito repellent is not more effective even when the AC is running. The AC draws the repellent fumes towards itself.

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