Natural mosquito, tick repellent offers an alternative to DEET

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Washington, February 6 (ANI): The Entomological Society of America (ESA) says that a natural compound found in the Tauroniro tree of South America appears to be effective against mosquitoes and ticks, which are known to spread malaria, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease.

Publishing a report in the Journal of Medical Entomology, the society has revealed that this compound is called isolongifolenone.

The report even reveals that derivatives of isolongifolenone have been widely and safely used as fragrances in cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, and paper products.

It adds that new processing methods may make it as cheap to produce as DEET.

Aijun Zhang, who led the study leading to this report, says that isolongifolenone deters the biting of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti (L.) and Anopheles stephensi Liston more effectively than the widely used synthetic chemical repellent N,N-diethyl-3-methyl benzamide (DEET) in laboratory bioassays.

The researcher has also found that isolongifolenone repels blacklegged ticks and lone star ticks as effectively as DEET.

The authors write: "(Since) isolongifolenone is easily synthesized from inexpensive turpentine oil feedstock, we are therefore confident that the compound has significant potential as an inexpensive and safe repellent for protection of large human populations against blood-feeding arthropods."

They even say that a new, patented method developed by them to efficiently produce isolongifolenone could make it even more cost effective. (ANI)

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