Science News

Repelling Mosquitoes with Tomatoes?

Sun, 16th Jun 2002

Part of the show Hauntings, ghosts and poltergeists - Psychical Researcher Tony Cornell

Scientists at North Carolina State University in the USA have found a compound in tomatoes which is an effective mosquito repellent. The compound is called IBI-246 and is at least as effective as DEET (or N, N-diethyl-meta-tolumide) which is the active ingredient in most sprays and creams used at the moment. IBI-246 is already used safely in cosmetics, so it has been well tested for toxicity. It is important to try to prevent mosquito bites to help stop the spread of malaria and dengue fever, especially in travellers. IBI-246 is also effective against ticks which can also carry disease (eg. Lyme Disease). The researchers hope that a product containing IBI-246 can be on sale to the public by the end of the year. It is very important to develop new insect repellents, because diseases such as malaria are being found more often outside their usual areas (eg. further north in the USA and in Southern Europe in the future as our climates warm up).
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