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Can Bug Spray Kill COVID?

15:00 August 31, 2020
By: Brittney Forbes

The UK's Defense Science Technology Laboratory discovered that citriodiol—a natural active ingredient found in insect repellent—can add an extra level of protection against COVID-19, as reported by The New York Post.

Britain's armed forces were told to use citriodiol as an additional protective measure to kill strains of the coronavirus; a military source told Sky News in April that there is enough evidence to consider it "a new layer of protection against COVID-19."

The troops were advised to continue to use face masks, wash their hands, and employ other means to combat the coronavirus because the repellent is not adequate on its own to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When tested on synthetic latex skin, the virus was still partially intact after a four-hour period, according to The Guardian.

Citriodiol is commonly found in the leaves of eucalyptus citriodora trees, also known as lemon eucalyptus, and is effective against insects, insect bites, and ticks.

Insect repellents containing citriodiol can help protect against the strain of the coronavirus as long as it doesn't also contain deet, which is another common active ingredient found in insect repellents.

Citriodiol is found in Mosi-guard, Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray, and REPEL plant-based lemon eucalyptus insect repellent.

The renewable resource contains p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), which is found in low levels of essential oils, not usually exceeding 1-2 percent. The process of increasing the PMD can make citriodiol a much more powerful repellent in comparison with using the natural essential oil alone.

The managing editor of Citrefine International Ltd., Jacqueline Watson, is hopeful that the naturally sourced ingredient can eventually terminate the virus, and she wants the government to help conduct a formal testing program, according to Sky News.

"What we can say is that we do feel there is a good chance it could work against this virus, but it does, of course, need to be thoroughly tested," Watson said.

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