Mosquitoes are basically the king of summertime pests, and nothing pleases a happy camper more than finding an effective way to keep the little bugs from biting. In a quest to find the next greatest mosquito repellent, a group of scientists tested 10 different substances, including the powerful pesticide DEET. One of the most effective bug repellents in the test proved to be the wild card: Victoria Secret’s perfume Bombshell. In fact, it works almost as well as DEET for keeping the little winged assailants at bay.
Perfume is an unlikely bug repellent for many obvious reasons. First, it’s certainly not developed to do the job, so its accidental success seems improbable at best. Further, Victoria’s Secret formulates its scents to be soft and floral – similar to the types of aromas that typically attract insects, rather than fend them off. In fact, researchers who conducted the study at New Mexico State’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab are among the first to admit how baffling the results initially were.
In a statement, research team member Stacy Rodriguez explains, “There was some previous literature that said fruity, floral scents attracted mosquitoes, and to not wear those. It was interesting to see that the mosquitoes weren’t actually attracted to the person that was wearing the Victoria’s Secret perfume – they were repelled by it.”
These findings, published in the Journal of Insect Science, don’t mean you should go trading in your bug spray for sweet-smelling perfumes just yet. The test results still put DEET at the top of the list in terms of effective mosquito repulsion, and products containing higher quantities of DEET were found to last longer than those with lower amounts. So, stick with what works or consider making your own natural bug spray for an earth-friendly alternative.
Images via Victoria’s Secret and Shutterstock