DETAILS ABOUT DEET
SCIENTISTS have learned more about DEET, the insect repellent that prevents us from being bitten by mosquitoes.
Diethyltoluamide, as it is also known, was invented in the 1940s to protect US soldiers from creepy-crawlies in tropical countries. It soon became widely available to the general public as a spray or liquid, and has saved many people from being covered in mosquito bites.
New research suggests DEET may not repel bugs, but confuses them instead. A study from America reckons DEET interferes with the neurons (nerve cells) that help creatures smell their surroundings. The result is that bugs become confused and can’t detect our odours, which is what attracts them to have a nibble on us.
The research shows that DEET also works on spiders, ticks and other pests – not just on insects.
A mosquito feasting on human blood