Smoke as a form of personal protection against mosquitos, a field study in Papua New Guinea

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 1994 Dec;25(4):771-5.


Smoke from burning different kinds of vegetation or wood is often used as a cheap personal protection measure against mosquitos during the evening. To test the efficacy of smoke, a comparative field trial was conducted in the Wosera District, Papua New Guinea. Repellency of smoke from burning wild mango wood (Mangifera spp), leaves from betelnut (Areca catechu), wild ginger (Alpinia spp) and coconut husks (Cocos nutifera) was assessed using man-biting catches. A mosquito species and smoke specific repellency was found. An. karwari was repelled by coconut husks (66% CI 17-86%), ginger (69% CI 25-87%) and betelnut (84% CI 62-94%) leaves. Culicines were repelled by mango wood (57% CI 6-80%), coconut husks (62% CI 18-83%), ginger (75% CI 45-88%) and betelnut (64% CI 22-84%) leaves. For An. koliensis no repellency due to smoke was found. In combination with untreated or impregnated bed-nets, smoke may contribute to a reduction of mosquito transmitted diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles
  • Culex
  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Insect Repellents*
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Smoke*


  • Insect Repellents
  • Smoke