Using repellents is one of the most efficient ways to prevent disease transmission and discomfort associated with insect bites. For more than 60 years, DEET has been considered the gold standard in insect repellents—the most effective and long-lasting available commercially. However, increasing regulations and growing public health concerns about synthetic repellents and insecticides like DEET have sparked interest in developing plant-based repellents that are more effective and longer lasting.
In recent research published in Scientific Reports, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists identified specific coconut oil fatty acids that have strong repellency and long-lasting effectiveness against multiple insects—mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies and bed bugs—that can transmit diseases to humans and animals.
A team of scientists led by entomologist Junwei (Jerry) Zhu, with the ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit in Lincoln, Nebraska, found that the coconut oil compounds were effective against biting flies and bed bugs for two weeks and had lasting repellency against ticks for at least one week in laboratory tests. In addition, the compound showed strong repellency against mosquitoes when higher concentrations of coconut oil compounds were topically applied.
Some people refuse to use DEET and turn to folk remedies or plant-based repellents. Most currently available plant-based repellents work for only a short period, Zhu noted.
Coconut oil itself is not a repellent, Zhu emphasized. However, the coconut oil-derived free fatty acid mixture—lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid as well as their corresponding methyl esters—provides strong repellency against blood-sucking insects. By encapsulating coconut fatty acids into a starch-based formula, field trials showed this all-natural formula could provide protection to cattle against stable flies for up to 96 hours or 4 days.
DEET was only 50 percent effective against stable flies, while the coconut oil compound was more than 95 percent effective.
Against bed bugs and ticks, DEET lost its effectiveness after about three days, while the coconut oil compound lasted for about two weeks. Coconut oil fatty acids also provided more than 90 percent repellency against mosquitoes—including Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that can transmit the Zika virus.
These coconut oil-derived compounds offer longer-lasting protection than any other known natural repellent against insect blood-feeding, according to Zhu.
ARS has filed a patent application for this new technology and is working with commercial companies to develop repellent formulas from coconut oil fatty acids.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Colony Pest Management employees are once sporting extra facial hair this month as part of No Shave November — what the company likes to call #NOSHEMBER — to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
The company notes, “The goal of NOSHEMBER is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Some donate the money they typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle. The rules of No-Shave November are simple: put down your razor for 30 days.”
The rules of No-Shave November are simple: put down your razor for 30 days. Colony will donate $100 for each Colony employee that does not shave for the entire month. This year the money will be donated to American Cancer Society.
Learn more about Colony Pest Management at http://www.colonypestnyc.com and by listening to the Colony Confidential podcasts at https://open.spotify.com/show/4TOviTLOUSPHtjyqlOeLxw?si=eG0Vj3AATZSslilvnUACCw or https://soundcloud.com/colony-confidential.
Apple recently released more than 70 new emojis, including the world’s deadliest animal, the mosquito. Public health activists hailed the release of the mosquito emoji, which is intended to raise awareness of mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria. Terminix is joining the fight to stop this global health crisis.
Terminix, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, will donate $10 (the cost of one bed net) for every retweet of this tweet up to $25,000. These life-saving nets protect families from malaria-carrying mosquitoes while they sleep and have saved over 6.8 million lives since 2000.
ATLANTA – Five food processing and pharmaceutical facilities were named winners of the 2018 IPM Partner Awards co-presented by Orkin, The IPM Institute of North America and global public health organization NSF International. The winners, selected by an Awards Jury comprised of esteemed experts in the pest management and food safety industries, were honored for their dedication to and success in their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) partnerships with Orkin.
“The 2018 IPM Partner Awards winners have demonstrated the greatest commitment to sustainable IPM programs,” said Orkin Technical Services Manager Tim Husen, Ph.D., BCE. “These facilities serve as an example for all audited manufacturing companies, and we want to honor and reward their dedication.”
IPM is an environmentally responsible pest management approach that emphasizes multiple methods of non-chemical pest control and prevention. The winning facilities have developed IPM programs that focus on vigilant sanitation, prompt attention to structural pest management recommendations, diligent record keeping and staff participation in IPM training sessions and efforts.
The 2018 IPM Partner Awards winners, selected from an elite group of nominees from across the country by the Awards Jury, are:
- Baldwin Richardson Foods (Macedon, N.Y.) – Custom developer and ingredient manufacturing company of syrups, fillings, sauces and toppings.
- Cusano’s Baking Company (Coconut Creek, Fla.) – Family-owned baking company and national distributor that specializes in high quality breads and rolls.
- Ezzo Sausage Company (Columbus, Ohio) – Family-owned food manufacturer and distributor of fine Italian dried, fresh and cured meats.
- Petco DC #638 (Orlando, Fla.) – Regionally based distribution center for the leading specialty retailer of premium pet food and supplies.
- Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals (Morton Grove, Ill.) – Leading manufacturer and marketer of oral liquid and topical pharmaceuticals.
“A commitment to IPM principles benefits the environment and the health of our food supply,” said Dr. Thomas Green, president of The IPM Institute of North America and 2018 IPM Partner Awards juror. “At the IPM Institute of North America, our goal is to accelerate the adoption of IPM and other best practices, and it’s with great pride that we recognize these facilities that have gone above and beyond to achieve IPM excellence.”
Dr. David Baker, global technical director consulting and technical services for co-presenter NSF International, also served on the Awards Jury. “Effective pest management is a pillar of food safety,” Baker stated. “The 2018 winners lead by example and adapt their IPM programs over time to achieve ongoing success.”
About the Awards Jury
- David Baker, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., global technical director consulting and technical services, NSF International
- Austin Frishman, Ph.D., BCE, founder, AMF Pest Management Services Inc.
- Thomas A. Green, Ph.D., president, The IPM Institute of North America Inc.
- Tim Husen, Ph.D., BCE., technical services manager, Orkin
- Frank Meek, BCE, international technical and training director, Orkin
- Zia Ziddiqi, Ph.D., BCE, pest management consultant, Zia Siddiqi Consulting