Garlic? Bananas? Citronella? Debunking mosquito repellent myths

From ABC10
July 13, 2018

As West Nile Virus activity surges in Sacramento County, it’s more important than ever to use mosquito repellent.

But which one should you use? It turns out, there’s a lot of myths around ways to repel the biting pests.

“A lot of people think that if you eat a lot of garlic, if you eat a lot of bananas, if you maybe put a bounce sheet in your pocket, that all of those things will keep mosquitoes away,” Luz Maria Robles with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District explained.

So, do they work? Sorry, but according to Robles, no.

Another common remedy is citronella — an herbal oil found in lemongrass. Citronella candles are advertised as a natural alternative to repellents like DEET. But, although it’s natural, it doesn’t really work. A study in the Journal of Insect Science found it has no affect at all on banishing the bugs.

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