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Coconut Oil May Prove To Be The Best Insect Repellent

Using an insect repellent is one of the most efficient ways that you can protect yourself from the disease transmission and discomfort associated with insect bites. DEET has been considered to be the most effective and longest lasting insect repellent for over 60 years. However, with growing concerns about using synthetic repellents, many have been looking for a more natural, plant-based alternative.

According to a recently published report, U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have identified specific coconut oil fatty acids that are very repellent, and offer long-lasting effectiveness against mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, and bed bugs.

The coconut oil that you buy in a store will not work as a repellent. However, the free fatty acid mixture that the researchers have derived from coconut oil (lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, and their corresponding methyl esters), will provide strong repellency against blood-sucking insects.

Tests showed that the coconut oil compound was effective against bed bugs and ticks for about two weeks, while DEET lost its effectiveness after about three days. The coconut oil was also shown to provide more than 90 percent repellency against mosquitoes.

Researchers say that these coconut oil-derived compounds offer longer-lasting protection than any other known natural repellent against insect blood feeding.

They have filed a patent application for this new technology and are now working with commercial companies to develop products for the market.