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This science fair project was done to compare the effectiveness of using a natural versus synthetic mosquito repellant. The science project experiment involved lemon grass oil and DEET (Diethylmetatoluamide) mosquito repellent spray.


Diethylmetatoluamide mosquito repellant spray is a more affective repellant compared to lemon grass oil.

Scientific Terms

Insect repellants, Dengue fever, malaria, Diethylmetatoluamide


Insect repellents

Insect repellants are substances that are normally applied to clothing or directly to the skin to keep insects away and prevent bites. They are commonly sold in the form of oils or sprays. Insect repellants help to prevent the outbreak of diseases like dengue fever and malaria, that are typically borne by insects. They work by masking the human scent by releasing other scents that repel insects avoid.

Synthetic insect repellants containing DEET have been found to last longer and also to be more effective than natural repellants. These synthetic repellants are able to retain their effectiveness for over 2 hours compared to natural repellants that last for less than 1 hour. However, overuse of synthetic repellants is believed to cause side effects like insomnia, impaired cognitive function and mood changes.

Natural substances can be used as insect repellants. They are normally less toxic and have fewer side effects. Examples of natural insect repellants are lemon grass and citronella oils.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 1 hour for science fair project
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Keep mosquito repellant away from children. Your will need 4 adults who are willing to expose their hands to the mosquitos.