Organic insect repellents are of interest to many agricultural producers and animal owners. Geraniol, a plant-derived alcohol, is naturally produced by a wide range of plants and is a US Environmental Protection Agency minimum risk pesticide. Previous studies have shown various concentrations of geraniol repel or kill mosquitoes; however, geraniol might cause allergic contact dermatitis in humans or animals. We tested a commercially available 2% aqueous solution of geraniol on ponies as a mosquito repellent. Five trials were conducted on ponies treated with a 60-ml aerosol mist (30 ml per side) of 2% geraniol or as untreated controls. Animals were observed 3 h postapplication to check for skin irritation. Aedes aegypti, in feeding tubes, were held on the ponies for 7 min. The average percent of biting on control animals was 56%, with a range of 16–90%, and the average for the treatments was 13%, with a range of 0–86%. Based on statistical models, there was no significant difference (P = 0.081) in the percent bites between treated and untreated animals after 3 h. Based on our data, 2% geraniol was not an adequate mosquito repellent for horses. We did not observe any skin irritation on the animals treated with 2% geraniol.
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