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a substance with which fabrics are treated to increase their resistance to water



a substance that repels arthropods (insects and ticks), mammals, and birds. Repellents are used mainly to protect man and animals from attacks by bloodsucking insects, to prevent such infectious diseases as encephalitides and leishmaniases, and to protect clothing and furniture from arthropods.

Repellents of plant and animal origin, including herbs and vegetable oils, have been used since ancient times. Today, most repellents are long-acting chemical preparations that are mainly synthetic. These include ethers and esters, alcohols, aldehydes, amides, and essential oils.

Repellents are classified according to the type of action they exert on arthropods. Olfactory repellents, or fumigants, are volatile substances that act at a distance and affect the nerve endings of insects’ olfactory organs. They include dimethyl phthal-ate, DETA, and kiuzol. Bite-preventing or contact repellents, including anabasine, hecamide, and Indalone, act on arthropods that come in direct contact with the treated surface. Masking, or deodorizing, repellents, such as lemon and clove oils, destroy or neutralize odors that attract arthropods. In areas with a great many bloodsucking arthropods, it is only with the use of repellents that such undertakings as geological investigations and the laying of conduits can take place.

Repellents are applied to exposed parts of the body or to clothing, protective netting, and tents. Repellents applied to the skin are in lotion or other liquid form; they may also be unguents or creams or in aerosol form. The duration of the protective effect depends on such factors as weather and the properties of the repellent itself.

When repellents come in contact with the mucosa of the eyes, nose, or mouth they produce irritation. If this takes place, especially among persons with allergies, the repellent must be washed off and its use discontinued. In treating fabrics, the material is wetted or soaked in a liquid repellent; it may also be treated with solid repellents—wax crayons and bars, paraffin, or stearin—or with aerosol bombs. Fabrics given a single treatment retain their repellent effect for several days, several weeks, or the entire period during which the arthropods are active.

Outside the USSR, repellents are also used to treat forest stands and fruit crops to protect them from deer, roe deer, hares, murine rodents, and birds. Effective repellents for protecting plants from harmful insects and ticks have not yet been found but are being intensively developed.


Gladkikh, S. G. Sredstva, otpugivaiushchie krovososushchikh nasekomykh i kleshchei. Moscow, 1964. (Contains bibliography.)
Nepoklonov, A. A. Khimicheskie sredstva zashchity zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1971.
Dremova, V. P. “Naibolee effektivnye sovremennye repellenty i taktika ikh primeneniia.” In Prirodnaia ochagovost’ boleznei i voprosy parazitologii zhivotnykh: Trudy 7 Vsesoiuznoi konferentsii po prirodnoi ocha-govosti boleznei i obshchim voprosam parazitologii zhivotnykh, fase. 6, part 2. Tashkent, 1972.


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Their mothers, all living in the south east of England, were asked a series of questions, including whether they had been exposed to insect repellents and biocide chemicals such as pesticides or weedkillers.
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