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A Bug Spray You Can Drink? CDC Promotes Grapefruit Extract "Nootkatone"

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April 19, 2011

A Bug Spray You Can Drink? CDC Promotes Grapefruit Extract "Nootkatone"

By Chad Love

This must be a good year for insect repellant research. First it was a new type of pre-treated clothing. Now researchers at the Centers For Disease Control say they're working on a new all-natural insect repellant made from a citrus extract.From this story on NPR.
"...the CDC is pushing hard to develop a completely natural insect repellent made from a chemical called nootkatone, which is found in Alaska yellow cedar trees and citrus fruit. (CDC researcher Marc Dolan) says nootkatone "is nongreasy, dries very quickly, and it has a very pleasant, citrus-y grapefruit odor to it." He recently demonstrated its effectiveness as a mosquito repellent, rubbing some on his hand and then sticking it into a cage containing 50 hungry mosquitoes. When he holds the treated hand near mosquitoes, they try to get away in the opposite direction as fast as they can. Even after five minutes, Dolan has no bites on his nootkatone-treated hand.

Nootkatone is also effective against ticks, and scientists think it will work against bed bugs, head lice and other insects, too. Moreover, nootkatone is so nontoxic you could drink it. In fact, it's already an approved food additive, officially classed as "Generally Considered Safe." It's also a natural ingredient in some foods. "If you've had a grapefruit, you've consumed some nootkatone," Dolan says, "or drank a Squirt, for instance." Dolan, who is leading a CDC team to develop nootkatone, says it could be put into soaps and sunscreens, so people wouldn't have to apply a separate bug repellent. But that's not all ˜ it turns out that nootkatone could be both a repellent and an environmentally friendly pesticide. That's because it doesn't just repel bugs ˜ it kills them.

Comments (9)

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from JGooding1 wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Good thing I love grapefruit. I'm gonna start taking them everywhere I go now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from iron giant wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Awesome. I like the idea of using citrus instead of poison to keep the bugs away.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 6 days ago

This is crazy a kid in my science research class in high school a few years ago was working on finding possible house hold product or more healthy alternative to deet for his project. This is all natural and it's going to be very hard for bugs to become immune to something like this being naturally occurring than it is something we make in a lab. I think this could be giant leap for deterring the spread of malaria.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfrichie wrote 3 years 6 days ago

This would be great. I can remember too many nights fishing where a little bug spray got in my mouth and made my tongue tingle and go numb for a few seconds. Citrus would definitely be preferable.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Awesome. I can't wait to reapply every 5 minutes!

In all seriousness, though, I'll give anything that keeps bugs away a shot. Especially if it decreases my reliance on our "wonder chemicals." But until proven otherwise, I'll have a can of DEET on me at all times.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fromthepeavine wrote 3 years 4 days ago

Going green with the bug spray now!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hikelive wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I'd like to see this in a competitive price range. I think that the product could be a great alternative. However, I'm not positive if I can convince my wife to let me buy more Devil Dancer and Two Hearted Ale since they've got a nice grapefruit hop aroma & flavor...not to mention the mosquitos will love me when i've had a few down...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from subao88713 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Good, good stuff www.lilydating.com

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from EMT2163 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

A friend of mine used to make his own insect repellant juice that you would drink, and after a few days it would keep the bugs away! If my mind serves me correct, he boiled jalepenos, garlic, and vinegar in it and we would drink it from a shot glass twice a day for about a week and it would work. He made it for when he went overseas in the jungle areas. It had a kick but it worked!

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from JGooding1 wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Good thing I love grapefruit. I'm gonna start taking them everywhere I go now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from iron giant wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Awesome. I like the idea of using citrus instead of poison to keep the bugs away.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 6 days ago

This is crazy a kid in my science research class in high school a few years ago was working on finding possible house hold product or more healthy alternative to deet for his project. This is all natural and it's going to be very hard for bugs to become immune to something like this being naturally occurring than it is something we make in a lab. I think this could be giant leap for deterring the spread of malaria.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfrichie wrote 3 years 6 days ago

This would be great. I can remember too many nights fishing where a little bug spray got in my mouth and made my tongue tingle and go numb for a few seconds. Citrus would definitely be preferable.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Awesome. I can't wait to reapply every 5 minutes!

In all seriousness, though, I'll give anything that keeps bugs away a shot. Especially if it decreases my reliance on our "wonder chemicals." But until proven otherwise, I'll have a can of DEET on me at all times.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fromthepeavine wrote 3 years 4 days ago

Going green with the bug spray now!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hikelive wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I'd like to see this in a competitive price range. I think that the product could be a great alternative. However, I'm not positive if I can convince my wife to let me buy more Devil Dancer and Two Hearted Ale since they've got a nice grapefruit hop aroma & flavor...not to mention the mosquitos will love me when i've had a few down...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from subao88713 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Good, good stuff www.lilydating.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from EMT2163 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

A friend of mine used to make his own insect repellant juice that you would drink, and after a few days it would keep the bugs away! If my mind serves me correct, he boiled jalepenos, garlic, and vinegar in it and we would drink it from a shot glass twice a day for about a week and it would work. He made it for when he went overseas in the jungle areas. It had a kick but it worked!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment