New repellent for mosquitoes

A team of scientists from the Democritus University of Thrace, working with foreign experts and a US pesticide manufacturer, say they are developing a mosquito repellent based on natural substances that could curb the spread of malaria and other serious illnesses. «The mosquito is attracted to certain smells given off by the human body. Our aim is to find substances that can hinder the mosquito from locating its prospective victim,» said Costas Iatrou, director of the Democritus Biology Institute. Iatrou and his colleagues have been conducting tests on endemic plants from the University of Crete’s collection to determine which of these can «interfere with the mosquitoes’ sense of smell so that the insect is repelled.» Obstructing mosquitoes from getting the blood they need would also stop them from reproducing,» Iatrou said.