Repellents are substances that scare away (cause avoidance reactions) in various organisms. Most often, this term is used in relation to arthropods (insects and ticks) that bite people and animals, and can be transmitted by the bites of pathogens of dangerous diseases. A large number of repellent agents based on the use of substances with repellent activity against arthropods that are harmful to human health are produced in the world.
The most commonly used synthetic repellents are:
- N, N-diethyltoluamide (DEET);
- ethyl 3- [N-butylacetamido] -propionate (IR3535, English IR3535);
- 1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2- (2-hydroxyethyl) - 1-methylpropyl ether (Saltidin, KBR3023, Icaridin, Picaridin, eng. Saltidin);
- N- (hexyloxymethyl) caprolactam (Akrep);
- o-phthalic acid dimethyl ester (Dimethyl phthalate, DMF).
In addition, some of the repellants are based on natural plant substances - essential oils (citronella, geranium, clove, eucalyptus, etc.). As a rule, repellants based on them have a weak and short-term deterrent effect. Synthetic repellent substances provide a longer lasting protective effect against blood-sucking arthropods. The most effective and long-term repelling of various groups of insects is provided by DEET, but at the same time this active substance is more toxic, the least toxic with a lower efficiency, the substance IR3535, which is most often used for the production of repellants for children.
All synthetic repellent based repellents should be 100% mosquito repellent 15 minutes after application to the skin. Natural products may not provide complete protection, as should be indicated on the label. A very important indicator is the duration of the repellant action, which in each specific situation depends on many factors: on the protective properties of the agent itself, which are due to the active substance and its amount, on the individual characteristics and physical activity of people during use, the species and aggressiveness of insects, weather conditions etc. The labels indicate only the relative protective properties of repellents - "the product protects when applied to the skin for more than 4 hours" or "the product protects when applied to the skin for up to 2 hours with a low number of insects."
IMPORTANT! The duration of the repelling effect of repellants applied to clothing is much longer than that applied to the skin of people. On clothes, repellents remain active for several days, and on the skin for only a few hours. When applied to clothing, the protective effect of repellents can last more than 20 days. It should be borne in mind that the toxic effect of any repellent when applied to clothing is minimal, therefore, some aerosolized products are allowed for use by adults when applied to the skin and clothing, and for children only on clothing.
The forms of repellents are varied. For application only to the skin, creams, gels, lotions, pencils, emulsions and wipes are intended. Aerosol cans with propellant gas and sprays (non-propellant aerosol cans) with mechanical sprays are intended to be applied both to the skin (first spray on the palm and spread evenly over the exposed parts of the body) and clothing.