Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mosquitos and cat(nip)...

Earlier this month I was quite confused. Although we are in the prime of summer--hot and humid Illinois weather--I hadn't gotten a single mosquito bite. Unfortunately I had that thought a little too soon. Last weekend when I awoke on Saturday morning I was covered in tiny red welts, evidence that my screen windows just aren't doing their job and that the little vampires had attacked me in the night. So what chemicals can help to keep away these pesky insects?

DEET, or meta-N,N-diethyl toluamide, is one of the most common mosquito repellents that I have seen used in the United States. While I haven't read any complete studies describing exactly how DEET works, it is believed that this molecule somehow binds to female mosquito sensory receptors (on a sidenote, generally it is only the female mosquitos that practice hematophagy, as they require extra protein in order to reproduce) and prevents them from recognizing some of the chemicals excreted by the human body, especially lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Inhibition of these receptors leaves the mosquito circling in confusion and allows us to enjoy itch-free summer evenings by the lake. DEET does have some unpleasant side effects; it can damage many synthetic fibers (though leaves cotton and many natural fibers untouched) and has long been known to have negative-side effects in aquatic life. Additionally, studies published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health and Experimental Neurology by Mohamed Abou-Donia and coworkers have shown that prolonged use of DEET in rats can cause neurodegeneration, particularly in the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, and the hippocampus [1], [2].

In Europe Icaridin / Picaridin is a common insect repellent, and some studies have shown that its activity is similar to that of DEET, but without any of the toxic side effects. Of course we all have heard of "natural" alternatives to these compounds, including citronella, beautyberry, geranium, lemon and eucalyptus oils, but did you know that catnip* (nepetalactone) has also been promoted as a "chemical free" means of eliminating mosquito bites [3], [4]? Interesting how the word chemical is generally considered taboo when promoting a new product; nepetalactone sure looks like an organic chemical to me!

If you are interested, the University of Florida has complied a list of several commonly available insect repellents with their effectiveness here.

*At the risk of sounding like carbon based curiosities, I just had to include some kind of reference to cats in this post. Last week I adopted a wonderful tabby! Isn't he cute?


15 comments:

Ψ*Ψ said...

Awww! How old is he?

Amanda said...

He is 4 and has such a big personality! If you can imagine, he likes to walk on a leash and comes when he is called (usually).

Ψ*Ψ said...

You win. My cats HATE the leash. The only possible exception is the blind kitty, who doesn't seem to mind it. However, he's usually too busy sniffing things outdoors to be bothered with walking anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Dear Amanda,
Unfortunately I have not found contact page and therefore send this suggestion as a post.
Please consider for inclusion the following link http://www.chemistryguide.org to your blog.
Thanks in advance.

Bunny Rae Gliek said...

Your cat looks very much like it's a Bengal, and the personality sounds like it too (comes when called, walks on a leash) - is it?

Amanda said...

As far as I know, Brandon isn't a Bengal. But he is just a stray from the Humane Society, so you never know. He certainly has a big personality.

Anonymous said...

warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat

Anonymous said...

Weaknesses of World Of Warcraft Gold the client-server model used by World of Warcraft have been wow power levelingexploited in order to crash the cluster of servers that wow8goldmake up a realm. Exploits also include characters being able to instantly Cheapest Wow Goldchange location or teleport. The situationbecame worse cheap wow goldwhen trying to coordinate activities across a number of playersor guilds on the same realm.World of Warcraft Lead Producer, stated that new realms would be introduced to warhammer goldrelieve the burden on existing ones. Existing realms would be upgraded.

Although the game wow gold follows a similar model to others in the genreand was noted for having wow gold cheapmany familiar concepts from roleplaying games, the new approaches gold4powerto reduce pauses between game encounters was well liked. At various times, World of Warcraft players have experienced problems with connecting to and logging in to wow gold for sale the game. Sudden server crashes that would force realms offline also occurred.

best-tutor said...

Hello!

very nice post... enjoyed it very much.

Thank you

http://www.best-tutor.com
http://best-tutor.com"

good site

tutor
tutor

酒店上班請找艾葳 said...

艾葳酒店經紀公司提供專業的酒店經紀, 酒店上班小姐,八大行業,酒店兼職,傳播妹,或者想要打工兼差打工,兼差,八大行業,酒店兼職,想去酒店上班, 日式酒店,便服店,制服酒店,ktv酒店,禮服店,整天穿得水水漂漂的,還是想去制服店日領上班小姐,水水們如果想要擁有打工工作、晚上兼差工作兼差打工假日兼職兼職工作酒店兼差兼差打工兼差日領工作晚上兼差工作酒店工作酒店上班酒店打工兼職兼差兼差工作酒店上班等,想了解酒店相關工作特種行業內容,想兼職工作日領假日兼職兼差打工、或晚班兼職想擁有鋼琴酒吧又有保障的工作嗎???又可以現領請找專業又有保障的艾葳酒店經紀公司!

艾葳酒店經紀是合法的公司工作環境高雅時尚,無業績壓力,無脫秀無喝酒壓力,高層次會員制客源,工作輕鬆,可日領現領
一般的酒店經紀只會在水水們第一次上班和領薪水時出現而已,對水水們的上班安全一點保障都沒有!艾葳酒店經紀公司的水水們上班時全程媽咪作陪,不需擔心!只提供最優質的酒店上班,酒店上班,酒店打工環境、上班條件給水水們。心動嗎!? 趕快來填寫你的酒店上班履歷表

水水們妳有缺現領、想要兼職、有缺錢的煩腦嗎?想到日本留學缺錢嗎?妳是傳播妹??想要擁有高時薪又輕鬆的賺錢,酒店和,假日打工,假日兼職賺錢的機會嗎??想實現夢想卻又缺錢沒錢嗎!??
艾葳酒店台北酒店經紀招兵買馬!!徵專業的酒店打工,想要去酒店的水水,想要短期日領,酒店日領,禮服酒店,制服店,酒店經紀,ktv酒店,便服店,酒店工作,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀人,
等相關服務 幫您快速的實現您的夢想~!!

Anonymous said...

酒店打工 酒店兼職
台北酒店 打工兼差 酒店工作 禮服酒店
酒店兼差 酒店上班 酒店應徵 酒店 酒店經紀

Anonymous said...

adizxywglgqqbzncbhol, http://nailfunguscurecuretreatment.com nail fungus Cure, KHACWbM.

Astermeds Health Blog said...

Hi,
This is an interesting blog post found here... Its an awesome blog post... Really I like it. Thanks very much for the share....

Runescape Gold said...

Thank you for sharing. Glad to see you.It is really a good post.http://teragold88.livejournal.com/7453.html
http://www.blogoodies.jp/rsgoldb2c1001/305680/The+actual+balanced+competing+nature+offers+succeeded+within+Runescape.html
http://www.4ppl.com/blog/entry/A_number_of_the_signup_bonuses_generally_contained_in_Runescape
http://rsgoldeden.blogage.de/entries/2011/12/30/A-variety-of-gambling-establishment-online-games-of-Runescape
http://rsgoldeden.blog.fc2blog.net/blog-entry-5.html

Buy Cheap Windows 7 Key said...

buy windows 7 ultimate,buy windows 7 home premium key,cheap windows 7 ultimate product key,windows 7 ultimate activation keys,microsoft windows 7 key,windows anytime upgrade key