If there is one thing that really annoys me in the middle of the night, it's hearing the buzz of a mosquito somewhere in the bedroom. I know I won't sleep properly for the rest of the night because it will keep buzzing around my ears and that I'm guaranteed to wake up in the morning covered with itchy red blotches. Sometimes, I give in to my better instincts and succomb to the temptation of the mosquito spray that lives in the kitchen cupboard - but I'm always paranoid about what we're breathing in. After all, if it promises to be totally lethal to all flying insects within seconds, what does it do to us ?
I was really impressed when I was sent a press release about a new formulation of anti-insect repellent called incognito. Described as "one of the strongest anti-insect sprays on the planet", "the only anti-insect repellent 100% effective against malaria" and "as effective as the most deadly toxic insecticide", it is amazingly 100% natural.
The spray contains Citrepel 75, which may sound like some nasty chemical but is actually Eucalyptus maculata citriodora, as well as organic Javanese citronella and a blend of some rare essential oils. Other recognisable ingredients on the list include alcohol, camphor, rose geranium and menthol. Unlike other chemical-based mosquito repellents, it actually smells pleasantly herbal and natural - for some reason, it reminds me of the earthy smells when walking the dogs across the gorse-covered hills close to my home on a warm summer's evening when I was a kid !
As a bit of a cynic, I supposed the anti-malarial claims were a bit exaggerated (like in certain trials where, when you read the small print, it was only tested on 3 people or only in trials run by the manufacturer themselves) but Trading Standards supports the claims, following clinical trials in the Bolivian Amazon. The product was ten years in the making so it has had some serious roadtesting.
What I love is that it is free of Deet and other nasty chemicals so I can use it on the children without worrying about it harming them. Although natural, it is strong, so you should still do a patch test on babies (only those above 6 months can use it) and children to check for skin reactions before applying it properly. Personally, I prefer to spray it on bedding, curtains and clothing as a repellent, although obviously, if you are going somewhere with lots of mosqitoes and a serious risk of malaria, you need to follow the instructions and spray it directly on to your skin. Each application should give you five hours of protection so it's ideal for spraying all over you before heading out for a twilight walk or a barbecue on a summer's evening.
Even better is that incognito isn't just effective at keeping away mosquitoes - it works with all insects. As well as repelling insects, it camouflages your kairomones, the insect version of pheromones, which is what attracts them in the first place. Apparently, a female mosquito can detect your kairomones up to a kilometre away ! I've actually just sprayed it all over the dogs to see if it manages to get rid of the fleas they picked up last week at the vet's that have so far resisted treatment with Frontline !
If you're heading off to seriously mosquito-infested places, you might like to know that incognito has a whole range of insect repellent products, including shower gel and shampoo, to offer you even greater protection.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £9 for 100ml
for more information : http://www.lessmosquito.com/