The current Zika health crisis in the Americas has created an intense interest in mosquito control methods and products. Mosquito vectors of Zika are of the genus Aedes, mainly the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. L. The use of repellents to alter mosquito host seeking behavior is an effective method for the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases. A large number of different spray-on repellents and wearable repellent devices are commercially available. The efficacies of many repellents are unknown. This study focuses on the efficacy of eleven different repellents in reducing the number of Ae. aegypti female mosquitoes attracted to human bait. We performed attraction-inhibition assays using a taxis cage in a wind tunnel setting. One person was placed upwind of the taxis cage and the mosquito movement towards or away from the person was recorded. The person was treated with various spray-on repellents or equipped with different mosquito repellent devices. We found that the spray-on repellents containing N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide and p-menthane-3,8-diol had the highest efficacy in repelling mosquitoes compared to repellents with other ingredients. From the five wearable devices that we tested, only the one that releases Metofluthrin significantly reduced the numbers of attracted mosquitoes. The citronella candle had no effect. We conclude that many of the products that we tested that were marketed as repellents do not reduce mosquito attraction to humans.
Keywords: Aedes; DEET; repellent; taxis cage; yellow fever mosquito.
© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.