Insects have been a problem for people for centuries. Insects from crawlers to flyers are commonly the cause of itchy bites, discomfort, and even the spread of various ailments and diseases. Mosquitoes, ticks, flies, midges, chiggers, and fleas are the more likely suspects and a single bite can be a major problem for people and their pets.
List of Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes transmit more diseases to humans than any other biting insect. Mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting several forms of viral encephalitis, yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, bancroftian filariasis, West Nile Virus, and epidemic polyarthritis to people, with more than 700,000,000 cases reported a year.
Common Tick Borne Diseases
Infected ticks common to the United States have an increasingly high chance of transmitting Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, Q fever, babesiosis, tularemia, STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness) and tick paralysis.
Examples of Diseases Caused by Other Pests
Flies have been known to transmit African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and loiasis to humans. Fleas can deliver plague in a bite. Kissing bugs throughout South America can give Chagas disease.
Insect Repellent Sprays & Other Products
These insects have a variety of ways as to which they find their host. But the important thing many consumers want to have is ways to repel these nasty critters from choosing them from becoming an insect’s next victim. Despite all efforts, expert scientists have not been able to develop a perfect topical repellent and have been an ongoing goal within the industry for years. Though there are a few choice insect repellent products, none have been able to produce ideal results.
Desired Attributes of Insect Repellents
The most optimal insect repellent should have the following attributes:
– The ability to repel multiple species of biting arthropods.
– Effective for a minimum of 8 hours.
– To the skin or mucous membranes will not endure any irritation.
– Absent of systemic toxicity.
– Abrasion resistant.
– Greaseless and odorless.
– Maximize the cosmetic appeal.
Insect Repellent Formulation Considerations
There are no insect repellents available that meet all of the above criteria. To get the most effective repellent, a concentrated vapor dispersing from the skin’s surfaces must be volatile enough, but still will not rapidly deplete the vapors. To achieve this feat, insect repellents should factor in concentrated levels, frequency, and uniformity of application. Additionally, the user’s activity level, appeal that blood-sucking arthropods have, number of species as well as quantity of the same species of the potentially biting organisms all need to be factors.
Problems of Commercially Available Insect Repellents
Insect repellents available commercially are not able to cloak the user with a chemical barrier of protection. If any exposed skin is left untreated, it can be readily bitten by insects. Protection from insects that are both a nuisance as well as those that pose health risks associated with their bites is optimally done by staying clear of infested habitats, wearing protective clothing, and applying substantial insect repellent.
Conventional Manufactured Chemical Repellents & Biopesticide Repellents
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) divides all marketed insect repellents into two categories: conventional manufactured chemical repellents and biopesticide repellents. Being derived from natural materials, these chemical repellents have an expanded spectrum of efficacy and an increased duration of action than biopesticide repellents.
Insect Repellency Testing
At Snell Scientifics, we perform a number of effective testing services to help improve your insect repellent formulations in an effort to help you achieve the ultimate goal in finding the perfect insect repellent solutions.