Yesterday, I was hauling bricks out of the woods, and I had DEET on my face. When I got some on my lips, I could feel them getting numb. Sometimes infants are harmed by an over-protective mother slathering DEET all over baby.
Breadfruit is a prolific crop grown in southern Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and other tropical areas. The flowers of the tree reputedly repel mosquitos and now researchers Maxwell and Jones at U of British Columbia have proven it.
They have separated out all the individual substances and found the three responsible ones---all fatty acids, capric acid, undeconoic acid and laurie acid that have ten to twelve carbons.
The flowers are a good spot to find the fatty acids.
No one thinks that C-10 to C-12 fatty acids are neurotoxins, so I wonder how it works.
My DW believes that coconut oil is a balm for all illnesses, and one that coconut oil is touted for is mosquito repellency. It is interesting coconut oil has a lot of C-6 to C-12 fatty acid, so rancid or over-processed coconut oil might work as a mosquito repellent. Cooking up coconut oil to degrade it, especially with acid or base would make it work better. I did not find any commercial mosquito repellants like that.
There is a slightly geekier version of this on my other blog.