Mosquito repellent could use bacteria, not chemicals, UW-Madison researchers say

Mosquitoes, thriving in Wisconsin after recent rains, could someday be combated with repellent made from bacteria instead of chemicals, according to UW-Madison researchers.

Two compounds from a bacterium found on worms prevented mosquitoes from feeding in a campus lab experiment. The amount of bacteria needed to ward off mosquitoes was three times less than for DEET and eight times less than for picaridin, two chemicals found in many insect repellents.

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