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Effective means of repelling insects

Ms. Cotchery's End of Semester Research Project

Gilberto Valenzuela

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Effective means of repelling insects

many Natural Alternatives

Many plants have developed their own means of repelling undesirable insects and attracting desirable ones. We can harness this evolutionary design for our own uses and make highly effective (and safe!) natural insect repellents from the essential oils of plants. are there many effective means for repelling insects? Nothing can put a damper on a summer evening like bothersome mosquitoes buzzing around. Mosquitoes can be tricky creatures to avoid. In fact, they can detect the scent of a human 100 feet (30.5 meters) away [source: Cook]. Fortunately, there are many methods and products that can repel insects and allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention receives more than 20,000 reports of Lyme disease, carried by deer ticks, and 100 reports of encephalitis, carried by mosquitoes [source: EPA]. Additionally, since 1999, more than 27,000 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the United States alone. Malaria, another mosquito-borne disease, kills more than one million people each year worldwide [source: Orkin]. Insect-repellent Clothing Of course, the best way to avoid being bitten by a bug is to cover up your body as much as possible. But in the sweltering heat, this might not be the most appealing option. A good alternative is to wear insect-repellent clothing, particularly clothing containing permethrin, a synthetic chemical insecticide. an image natural alternatives If you're looking for a natural way to repel insects, oil of lemon eucalyptus is one answer. Its active ingredient is p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD). This EPA-approved repellent provides the longest-lasting protection of all plant-based products source: CDC. It provides protection similar to products that contain low levels of DEET (a chemical we'll discuss on the next page). Oil of lemon eucalyptus poses no threats to the environment, and the only potential risk to your health is eye irritation if you apply the product directly to your face. It's effective in repelling mosquitoes, biting insects and gnats. Chemical-based Products: DEET or Picaridin Although they might not have the best reputation, products that contain the chemicals DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin (KBR 3023) are the most effective insect repellents. While DEET is not a carcinogen, DEET products get a bad rap because long-term exposure may cause moodiness, insomnia and impaired cognitive function [source: Peterson]. Studies have shown that after high concentrations of continued exposure, DEET can cause hypertrophy of the liver and kidneys as well as stimulation of the central nervous system which can cause tremors and seizures [source: Extonet]. DEET products also have the potential to damage the water supply. resources http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/hiking/5-ways-to-repel-insects.htm#page=5 http://www.thereflector.com/garden_scene/article_2a0086d4-a39e-11e1-bd76-0019bb2963f4.html Biochemical pesticides are naturally occurring substances that control pests by non-toxic mechanisms. Conventional pesticides, by contrast, are generally synthetic materials that directly kill or inactivate the pest. Biochemical pesticides include substances, such as insect sex pheromones, that interfere with mating, as well as various scented plant extracts that attract insect pests to traps. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a substance meets the criteria for classification as a biochemical pesticide, EPA has established a special committee to make such decisions. biochemicals http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/types.htm
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