How Insect Repellents are Made


Pests are unwelcome wherever they reside, as they tend to cause damage and destruction no matter where they go. That’s why, at the first sign of infestation, calling for pest control services is highly recommended. After all, getting the professionals to do take care of them is the only way to completely ensure that the job is done – and that it’s done right.

But for those times when the infestation is minor and a simple repellent can do the job, then a clean sweep is enough. Though, one does wonder where insect repellents came from, and how they were made.

Take a gander at its interesting history:



The ingredients of mosquito repellents are made from various materials such as muds, tars, plant extracts, oils, and even smoke. But back then, citronella oil was the first efficient active ingredient. In fact, the oil was used as early as 1901 for medicinal, fragrance, and hairdressing purposes which lead to the discovery that it contains a chemical ingredient which has a strong repellent activity if applied on a huge portion. By 1929, other ingredients were used to repel insects. Some failed but others were successful – the curiosity to find out which would work propelled scientists to conduct deeper studies to create the most effective repellent for the public. Dimethyl phthalate, Indalone, Rutgers 612, and DEET were just some of the major ingredients used to create repellents before, and they are still used today in the forms of oil, lotions or creams, and aerosols.


citronella natural insect repellent
Citronella plant, an early natural insect repellent.

Production of insect repellents

There are numerous structures and types of insect repellents but the production and materials used are usually somewhat similar. Majority of the factories that create insect repellents have the same process:


  1. Compounding

The initial step is to do the compounding, wherein the raw materials are combined altogether in big stainless steel tanks strong enough to contain all the ingredients. Aerosol, alcohol, DEET, fragrance, and emollients are the usual materials combined while propellants are added later on. These ingredients are highly flammable, so the compounding procedure is executed with extreme caution. Once this step is done, a series of tests occur before the product moves on the next procedure.

  1. Filling

Machines with conveyor belts are used to mix all of the materials to create the final mosquito repellent that will then fill up the empty cans in a nearby conveyor line. The machines also ensure to sterilize the product to remove debris or dust before it moves on to the next step – packaging. There, the product is placed in the can and is pressurized once propellants are added in. After that, they are then transferred to a hot tank and undergo crucial checking before it gets approved for public distribution.

  1. Boxing

After quality control, the repellents are then labelled and shipped out to retailers.

Unfortunately, due to the underlying similarities between repellents, most mosquitoes have become immune to them, some of which even evolved to overcome them completely. That’s why personal safety against them and the diseases that they bring is now more important than ever; always make sure that you are defended against possible sickness by keeping yourself and your environment clean.

Do These Pest Control Inventions Really Work?


TopBest - Pest Control Inventions


What are Example of New Forms of Pest Control? Do These Work?

  1. Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices: No, these don’t work as many studies have proven it is ineffective against rodents and other pests.
  2. Mosquito Patches: Yes, these do work, but their range is very limited


The presence of modern technology makes sure that every aspect of our lives is made easier, even in pest control. That is why the old and traditional methods of using traps, bed nets, or even calling the local pest control to take care of pest problems have been overlooked. The idea of making things simpler and thus involving less work on our part is appealing to the most of us, but you shouldn’t completely rely on what technology has developed without considering the risks that it may come with. That is why we’ve laid out the new approaches that have been developed for battling pests, and included each of their pros and cons:

1. Ultrasonic Pest Control

ultrasonic pest repellent

Ultrasonic Pest Control comes in many forms. It can be a small electronic device that is powered either by plugging it into a wall or by sticking a few batteries in it. There are also apps that can be downloaded on your phone, which can broadcast ultrasonic sounds to speakers or radios. Some air conditioners even have this feature integrated within itself.

No matter what form of ultrasonic pest control there is, the primary function of it is to emit a very high frequency that only rodents and insects can hear. It is believed that it is very annoying to them; forcing them to stay away from the source of the sound. Thus, by placing this inside your home, the pest will steer clear from it.

There’s no need to worry about the effects of this ultrasonic frequency on humans and our beloved pets. This is because it is impossible for us and our animal companions to hear; unless you are half-rodent or something. However, if you have gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs as pets, there is a possibility that this pest control invention could disturb them as well.


  1. No Chemicals. This means no harm will be brought upon you, your pets, and your environment. Thus, it is environmentally friendly.
  2. No Weird Smell. Since there are no harmful chemicals, your home won’t smell as well.
  3. It won’t really cost us much energy because using it just involves plugging in a small device or using an app on your mobile phone.


  1. It Depends Your Walls and Furniture. Sometimes the frequency will be blocked by certain walls and furniture materials.
  2. Short Reach.It can only reach 30 square meters of a room, so you have to put one in every room. Although some devices claim that the sound reaches the whole house, such versions are pricier.
  3. It Goes Against Science.Studies have already been conducted to test its effectivity. In one of these studies, an ultrasonic device was placed and used right next to a cage of rodents. These did not react to it at all and just did normal rodent things.

Another study has also been conducted saying that every specie of insects perceives sounds differently; thus, having different reactions to sound. But they all have something in common: they all get used to this high frequency sound eventually and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

So it is up to you to if you will believe the claim of science who has proven this device to be a myth, or the claim of the advertisements about the device and those who tried it without problem.

2. Wearable Mosquito Repellants: Patches and Wrist Bands

Repellent patches

These patches and wrist bands have gained so much popularity in the market since they are convenient. These wearables claim to make its wearer be “invisible” to mosquitoes; thus, preventing these disease-bearing creatures from going after you. It works by blocking mosquitoes’ ability to detect carbon dioxide which is their primary method of tracking human blood meals.



  1. It is Spatial. It’s not a bulky device. In fact, you won’t even feel like it’s there. Just like any regular patch or wrist band, you’ll get used to having it on you the whole time that you’ll even forget that you’re wearing it.
  2. It is Convenient.It easy to put on since it’s a wearable. Just put it on and enjoy an entire mosquito-free day. All in all, it is very simple yet innovative.
  3. It is Fashionable. Some come with cute designs too for both adults and children.
  4. Multiple Testimonials Prove its Effectiveness.Others have said that they have seen visible results when they put these things on, but only on the area where they put it.



These small and spatial patches and bands won’t be enough to protect the whole body from mosquitoes because the reach that these pest control products have is very limited.  If you want to protect your whole body, then you might need to purchase a lot of these and wear them all over your body. However, you will look ridiculous while doing so. It can even make you feel uncomfortable when your clothes are full of patches or your arms are full of wrist bands. How will you even move?


Key Takeaway

There is nothing wrong with innovations in pest control products. After all, everyone is searching for a more efficient way to keep themselves, their homes, and loved ones safe from harmful pests. However, it is important to note that all of the newest inventions have pros and cons, especially since they are just going through road testing. Thus, these should not be a sole preventative measure against pests.

Mixing the new and old methods of pest control is best. It is better to have a failsafe that is proven to be effective through the ages. These may take more require time and effort as compared to how the new methods are marketed, but at least they’re tried and tested to be effective. Plus, these won’t really cost you that much money.

So feel free to try these products or any other new pest control innovation. But just be sure that you observe the effects of these for yourself. If they seem to work, then go ahead. If not, then have the tradition pest control methods on standby.