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Author Topic: Dryer sheets as mosquito repellant?
Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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I couldn't decide if this should go in Critter Country, Medical, Old Wives Tales, or Science. I decided to put it here.

Edmonton is highly populated by mosquitos. They've recently been saying on the news to rub a dryer sheet on your skin before going out, and this will keep the little suckers away. Some people have said that a floral scent such as most dryer sheets would actually attract them.

I did a search, and the only sites I can find are those ever-reliable "fact" lists, and they all swear by dryer sheets to repel mosquitos by either rubbing them on the skin or dying them to a belt loop.

Anyone know anything reliable about this? Kathy?

Whether it works or not, I'll stick to deet. Dryer sheets make me sneeze.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"


Posts: 12086 | From: Alberta | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
eagle eye
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Sounds farfetched to me. Why don't you conduct an experiment? We'll all gladly chip in for a bottle of Sting-Eze in exchange for your report!

I have an uncle who is always trying new ways to repel insects while in the woods (avid hunter). That electronic whiner thingy attracted them in waves, so he just placed it a bit away as a decoy. Stick with your deet, in proper concentration and judiciously applied, or get yourself a groovy bug suit.

Regards,
eagle eye


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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by eagle eye:
Why don't you conduct an experiment?

Because...

quote:
Dryer sheets make me sneeze

They're okay on the clothes because the smell is much milder and diluted. But the trip to the laundry room carrying it, and having the smell on my hands - the bugs wouldn't be able to find a good spot to land because I'd be convulsing with the sneezles.

I agree that it does sound farfetched. That's why I asked Bug spray works just fine, so I'll stick to that. But if it actually attracts more bugs, someone should really tell the people at the news to stop suggesting it.

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Posts: 12086 | From: Alberta | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Aughh! I just realized my bug icon fell victim to snopes lottery.

Dryer sheets, That's new on on me. But I found a zillion recommendations for them while trying to look up some stuff. Mosquitoes are generally attracted to people by the CO2 given off by skin and a few other things. Repellents generally work by confusing the little beasts abilty to sense the CO2. People differ greatly in their attractiveness to mosquitoes, a mechinism that is still only partly understood.

DEET is the standard for judging repellancy. So far, nothing has been found that is more effective or longer lasting. But this efficacy & longevity may not be as important for someone wanting to be unbitten during a two hour garden party, as opposed to someone out in the jungle all day in an area known to have serious malaria problems.

Oil of citronella works. That's what Avon puts in their Skin So Soft repellant. (Unconfirmed word is that there always was a bit of citronella in there, hence the word-of-mouth report that SSS worked. Avon now deliberately adds citronella and has registered the stuff as a pesticide inteh US, as required by law). It's entirely possible that some dryer sheet brand uses citronella for a scent. I tried to see if I could find ingredients, but had no luck.

Naturally, no one has done a real test on the dryer sheets--in the US, anyway, the manufcturers don't want the problem of having to register as a pesticide. Well, you know my sig. I could rub fabric sheets all over my body and claim that they worked--I was not bitten. However, that would prove nothing. I could also wander out in the yard stark naked with no repellant of any kind on my skin and also not get bitten; mosquitoes are rarely attracted to me.

Another alternative goes by the euphonious name of ETHYL BUTYLACETYLAMINOPROPIONATE (EBA). There is also dimethylphthalate (Bayrepel). Both of these are marketed under a number of trade names. Neem has also been shown ot have repellent properties. The caveat is, none of these are as effective or as long lasting as DEET.

Forget taking Vitamin B-1--that has been demonstrated to be ineffective.

[edit. Oops! Forgot! The electronic bug zappers have been demonstrated to attract more mosquitoes and to kill a lot of beneficial insects. I haven't posted references hee, but can if you want.]
Kathy "bug off" B.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."


Posts: 4255 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
jessieg16
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Weel I know that dryer sheets keep away bees. Every probably knows that but I just thought I'd like to share that....

Jessie G.

I really like the little smiley face rocker guy!


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