From Science Daily
August 20, 2018
The scientists will present their research today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
“Our new repellents are based on how nature already works,” Joel R. Coats, Ph.D., says. “For example, citronella, a spatial repellent that comes from lemongrass, contains naturally occurring essential oils that have been used for centuries to repel mosquitoes. But citronella doesn’t last long and blows away easily. Our new, next-generation spatial repellents are variations of natural products that are longer-lasting and have greater repellency.”
Coats and graduate students James S. Klimavicz and Caleb L. Corona at Iowa State University in Ames have been synthesizing and testing hundreds of compounds against mosquitoes. They knew that sesquiterpenoids, which are found in many plants, are effective insect repellents, but these large molecules are difficult to isolate from plants and hard to make and purify in the laboratory.