“They Must Like Me ‘Cause I’m Sweet!”: NMSU Discovers Surprising Mosquito Repellent

Stacy Rodriguez, a researcher at New Mexico State’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab, had always heard the legend that mosquitos were more attracted to people wearing fruity, floral fragrances.


In an attempt to prove that idea wrong, she included a sample of Victoria’s Secret perfume in a group of 10 possible mosquito repellents her team was testing for efficacy.

The result? The “Bombshell” body spray is about as good as DEET.

According to Gizmodo (you can see the full results there), the scientists put two different species of mosquitoes in a “holding chamber” at the bottom of a Y-shaped tube—otherwise known as an olfactometer.

>> See how gas chromatography and olfactometry work in tandem for flavor research

“One prong of the Y led to a researcher’s untreated hand. The other prong led to a hand that had been coated with one of the repellents. When the mosquitoes were unleashed from their cage, they could choose to fly toward the treated or untreated hands.”


Victoria’s Secret Bombshell as an effective mosquito repellent is a bombshell in itself, but that wasn’t the only surprising outcome of the experiment. Touted as “the easy, natural and effective alternative to chemical bug repellents,” The Mosquito Patch attracted more of the bugs than no repellent at all.


Related resources:

Gas Chromatography

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