Science Questions

Does Listerine repell mosquitoes?

Sun, 11th May 2008

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Repelling Mosquitoes


Susie Maruca and Marcie Lawson asked:

A particular brand of mouthwash, they say Listerine, is a mosquito repellent. Can you think of any basic chemistry, why that should be the case?


We put this question to James Logan:

There are some compounds in Listerine such as menthol which does have a repellent effect against quite a lot of insects, actually. Perhaps it does have some sort of effect. Iím not sure if theyíre saying itís repellent by using it in their mouth or whether itís repellent by putting it on their arms. Iím not sure but itís certainly a new one. I hadnít heard of that before.


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