Are you travelling this summer or do insects “like your skin”/blood??

There are good herbal insect repellents, but in general, they are short working

Some fatty acid from cocos oil has been found to be very potent and long-acting.

Coconut oil itself seems not to do much.

I am trying to find out where these oils are commercially available and asked Zhu JJ [one of the authors] by email, but I never got an answer.

Dear Dr Zhu, I read your very interesting research about fatty oils of coconut oils as insect repellents!!

Supposedly coconut oil itself has not the same effects forby me not understood reasons[by me]. Do you know where fatty acids are commercially available to advise my patients? With many thanks for an answer

Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 19;8(1):14053. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32373-7.

Better than DEET Repellent Compounds Derived from Coconut Oil.

Zhu JJ1, Cermak SC2, Kenar JA2, Brewer G3, Haynes KF4, Boxler D3, Baker PD4, Wang D5, Wang C6, Li AY7, Xue RD8, Shen Y8, Wang F8, Agramonte NM9, Bernier UR9, de Oliveira Filho JG10, Borges LMF10, Friesen K11, Taylor DB11.

Author information


Hematophagous arthropods are capable of transmitting human and animal pathogens worldwide. Vector-borne diseases account for 17% of all infectious diseases resulting in 700,000 human deaths annually. Repellents are a primary tool for reducing the impact of biting arthropods on humans and animals. N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), the most effective and long-lasting repellent currently available commercially, has long been considered the gold standard in insect repellent, but with reported human health issues, particularly for infants and pregnant women. In the present study, we report fatty acids derived from coconut oil, which are novel, inexpensive and highly efficacious repellant compounds. These coconut fatty acids are active against a broad array of blood-sucking arthropods, including biting flies, ticks, bed bugs and mosquitoes. The medium-chain length fatty acids from C8:0 to C12:0 were found to exhibit the predominant repellent activity. In laboratory bioassays, these fatty acids repelled biting flies and bed bugs for two weeks after application and ticks for one week. Repellency was stronger and with longer residual activity than that of DEET. In addition, repellency was also found against mosquitoes. An aqueous starch-based formulation containing natural coconut fatty acids was also prepared and shown to protect pastured cattle from biting flies for up to 96 hours in the hot summer, which, to our knowledge, is the most prolonged protection provided by a natural repellent product studied to date.