A substance produced by tomatoes repels mosquitoes and other insects more effectively and is safer than DEET, the chemical most commonly used in insect repellents, a North Carolina State University scientist has discovered.
Indeed, work by Dr. Michael Roe, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State, showed that the natural compound found in tomatoes is so effective at repelling insects that the university patented the substance. The patent describes how the substance may be used to repel insects.
The university has since licensed the right to produce the substance as an insect repellent to Insect Biotechnology Inc., a Durham company that specializes in developing and marketing biochemical insecticides. Funding for the research was provided in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the N.C. Biotechnology Center, the N.C. Agricultural Research Service, and Insect Biotechnology. Roes research was also supported by university overhead receipts.
Dr. Michael Roe | EurekAlert
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