The first goal of this study was to compare the degree of personal protection against biting insects provided by geraniol, linalool, and citronella candle (5%) vapors outdoors, where such products are commonly used. At a distance of 1.0 m, citronella candles reduced the number of female mosquitoes caught in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traps by 35.4% and sand flies by 15.4%, linalool candles reduced female mosquitoes by 64.9% and sand flies by 48.5%, while geraniol candles reduced female mosquitoes by 81.5% and sand flies by 69.8%. By increasing the distance to 2 m and 3 m, the repellency dropped significantly. The second goal was to compare the degree of personal protection provided by the best performing candle, geraniol, under conditions of high and low biting pressure. The introduction of geraniol candles to protect volunteers in a high biting pressure environment reduced the mosquito pressure by an average of 56% and the sand fly pressure by 62% over a distance of 1.0 m. In the low biting pressure environment, geraniol reduced the mosquito pressure by an average of 62%. No sand flies were present at this site.
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Vol. 24 • No. 1