The Dengue Repeller

So the mosquitoes can be quite pesky.  It’s especially delightful terrible that since the weather is always warm , they are always around.  I had to coin a word mosquitorized (the terrorization by mosquitoes) for when they would especially torment me.  What fell under especially – flying close enough for me to hear the buzz of not just taking the blood but more or less caressing my arm or leg (a poor attempt at seduction? I don’t know).

DSC_0009One night a few weeks ago, I thought how gross repellent made me feel and how it didn’t completely stop the mosquitoes or keep them out of my eyesight (they would frequently be behind the computer).  I wondered about citronella candles and the possibility of making them in this country.  First I had to determine how to make them and found this site.  I called Anna and got her support for an experiment.  We even developed a game plan, we would test the candles on volunteers and then pass the idea onto the next set of Business Volunteers to try with Dominicans.

So when I went to Agencias Internacionels, I made a side inquiry and purchase for citronella fragrance.  Then on the way back from Dana’s site on Saturday I tried to visit Casa Jarabacoa to buy paraffin wax, but being a saturday it was closed.  Luckily Ferreteria Jarabocoa was open and they had someone show me a small shop around the corner that sold the supplies.  There no knowing how much .25 kg of fragrance translated into ounces (it would be 8 ounces and there of use for 8 pounds) and taking into account I had to take a taxi to get there and would not want to waste the trip or have to repeat it again soon, I bought the offer of 12 pounds.  I did question my judgement on the trip back to site.

At Dana’s site, I told my program director Michael about the idea (including passing it along) and that I saw on wikipedia (although I want another source, though he pointed out for Dominican Republic sales that would not be necessary) that citronella is repellent to the dengue mosquito, making a great selling point for our sales campaign for volunteers.  Cause who wants dengue, I sure didn’t enjoy it.  Maybe I should include my hospital picture on the label.

DSC_0014Although I really wanted to have a partner in crafting, I wasn’t going to see another American for over a week and wanted to test my theory.  So I made a small candle (1/4 lb wax and 1.5 tsp of fragrance) and waited 2 days to light it was advised.  Even unlit, the mosquitoes stopped hanging out near the computer and lit I did not notice any new bites.  So a great success.

I mentioned it to Hembra to gauge a Dominican’s receptiveness to the idea and she liked it so much, I made some with here and her neighbors.  They told me about burning orange leaves as a deterrent, and that made me think about how they could create the fragrance oil.  I had looked up how to do it for citronella, but have seen no citronella in country.  I then took 3 pounds along on the trip I took last week, and made some with Anna and Robin.  I still have 8 pounds, so I guess it is time to start collecting cans and thinking up a marketing campaign.

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2 comments
  1. Paula said:

    Go Ashley!

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