Submitted to: International Journal of Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Through the ages, people have used a variety of techniques and methods to shield themselves from the pain and itch of arthropod bites. Today, the collective term for these techniques and methods is personal protection. This paper, which was written at the request of the World Health Organization by Scientists at the ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, provides detailed information on currently available methods and techniques that can be used to protect humans from the bites of mosquitoes, blackflies, biting midges, horseflies, stable flies, tsetse flies, sand flies, kissing bugs, fleas, and mites and ticks. It describes how personal protection from arthropod attack can be achieved by using clothing, screens, nets, enclosures, natural and synthetic chemicals, and by avoidance of insect/arthropod-infested areas.
Technical Abstract: Through the ages, people have used a variety of techniques and methods to shield themselves from the pain and itch of arthropod bites. Today, the collective term for these techniques and methods is personal protection. Personal protection is an indispensable method for preventing host vector contact. Categories of personal protection include avoidance of biting arthropods in time and space and the use of physical barriers, such as clothing, window screens, and insect proof bed nets. Chemical barriers comprise the use of natural and synthetic repellents on skin and/or the use of toxicants, such as permethrin, on clothing, tent fabric, bednets, sleeping bags, and ground cloths. Common natural repellents are pyrethrum, citronella, quwenling, thyme and clove oils, and Bite Blocker(R) (which contains soybean oil, geranium oil, and coconut oil). Effective synthetic repellents include KBR 3023 (1-(1-methyl propylcarbonyl)-2-(2-hydroxethyl)-piperidine), Merck 3535 (3-(N buytlacetamino)-propionate), USDA AI3-37220 (1-(3-cyclohexen-1 ylcarbonyl)-2-methylpiperdine), and deet (N,N-diethyl-3 methylbenzamide). Repellents/toxicants that can be used on fabric are deet and permethrin ((3-phenoxyphenyl) methyl (+\-) cis/trans 3 (2,2-dichloroethenyl) 2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecaroxylate). The most effective strategy for defense against blood sucking and disease bearing arthropods is to use deet on the skin and to wear clothing that has been treated with permethrin.