Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mosquitoes exposed to DEET once are less repelled by it a few hours later, study claims

Date:
February 20, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Mosquitoes are able to ignore the smell of the insect repellent DEET within a few hours of being exposed to it, according to new research.

Mosquitoes are able to ignore the smell of the insect repellent DEET within a few hours of being exposed to it.
Credit: James Logan/Stanczyk NM, Brookfield JFY, Field LM, Logan JG (2013) Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Exhibit Decreased Repellency by DEET following Previous Exposure. PLoS ONE 8(2): e54438. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054438

Mosquitoes are able to ignore the smell of the insect repellent DEET within a few hours of being exposed to it, according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by James Logan, Nina Stanczyk and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.

Though most insects are strongly repelled by the smell of DEET, previous studies by Logan's research group have shown that some flies and mosquitoes carry a genetic change in their odor receptors that makes them insensitive to this smell. The new results reported in the PLOS ONE study uncover a response in mosquitoes based on short-term changes, not genetic ones.

"Our study shows that the effects of this exposure last up to three hours. We will be doing further research to determine how long the effect lasts," says Logan.

In this study, the authors tested changes in responses to DEET in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are notorious for biting during the day and are capable of transmitting dengue fever. They found that a brief exposure to DEET was sufficient to make some mosquitoes less sensitive to the repellent. Three hours after the exposure, these mosquitoes were not deterred from seeking attractants like heat and human skin despite the presence of DEET. The researchers found that this insensitivity to the smell could be correlated to a decrease in the sensitivity of odor receptors on the mosquito's antennae following a previous exposure. "We think that the mosquitoes are habituating to the repellent, similar to a phenomenon seen with the human sense of smell also. However, the human olfactory system is very different from a mosquito's, so the mechanism involved in this case is likely to be very different," explains Logan.

He adds, "This doesn't mean that we should stop using repellents -- on the contrary, DEET is a very good repellent, and is still recommended for use in high risk areas. However, we are keeping a close eye on how mosquitoes can overcome the repellent and ways in which we can combat this."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nina M. Stanczyk, John F. Y. Brookfield, Linda M. Field, James G. Logan. Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Exhibit Decreased Repellency by DEET following Previous Exposure. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e54438 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054438

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Mosquitoes exposed to DEET once are less repelled by it a few hours later, study claims." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220184949.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, February 20). Mosquitoes exposed to DEET once are less repelled by it a few hours later, study claims. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220184949.htm
Public Library of Science. "Mosquitoes exposed to DEET once are less repelled by it a few hours later, study claims." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220184949.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins