Every summer, it’s the same catchphrase: how can we add spice to our life, without it going through mosquito bites? Faced with the proliferation of the tiger mosquito on French territory, recognizable by its black and white stripes all over its body, the bet is not won. All the more so when repellents are useless, or almost, according to the Health Security Agency (Anses).
Repellents that smell like the wrong idea
“The most used repellents are sometimes the least effective”, notes Johanna Fite, interviewed by The Parisian. Like, for example, fragrant candles made from essential oils or lemongrass. However, their action has not yet been measured. Catherine Gourlay, deputy director of the evaluation of regulated products at ANSES, mentions in this same article that “not all essential oils have a repellant effect, but we are currently evaluating geranium-based oils for measure their biocidal efficacy and their potential danger “.
And the other twists, spirals or coils that we would be tempted to burn in cups are not much better. Their repellent effect is not only short-lived, but they can only be used outdoors, and are also toxic.
As for the bracelets on sale in stores, they have no “proven effectiveness” according to ANSES. Worse, some “undesirable effects on young children” have even been noted.
Lots of lotion, no alcohol and white clothes
Body lotions are the most effective method of preventing bites from these urban bloodsuckers. “But we must give preference to biocidal repellants that have been granted marketing authorization,” advises Catherine Gourlay. In addition to mosquito nets that can be installed in windows, this physical barrier can be supplemented by the use of household repellents such as electric diffusers, adds the Regional Health Agency (ARS).
Tiger mosquitoes prefer dark shades. In the evening, opt instead for white clothes, ideally long and loose. Also, their olfactory system is “quite efficient”, and they are “sensitive to many signals, such as the smell of bacteria present on the surface of the skin,” explains ANSES. “When body heat increases (this is the case of pregnant women, people with fever or those who have drunk alcohol) the production of bacteria and aromatic compounds is increased, making the skin more appetizing because more fragrant “.
If the idleness of summer is often accompanied by a good cold beer or sangria, not sure here that these beverages are our best ally.