The human host.” Citronella oil can be created


            The use of insect repellants has
become an important aspect to mosquito infested areas in the Philippines thus
the use of organic citronella infused fabric softeners is needed. According to
the investigation of Boonyuan et al. (2013), the use of oil extracts from hairy
basil, ginger, lemongrass, and plai produce a strong escape response to Aedes
aegypti mosquitos. However, among all the extracts, citronella has been
popularly known and is widely used by many people as the organic insect
repellant. In accordance to Conville’s (2011) study, the insects remain
unharmed; moreover, the scent just repels the mosquitos which makes it
difficult for them to locate the human host.” Citronella oil can be created
into many repellant products such as scented candles, sprays, soaps, wipes and
cosmetics (Sproule, 2015).

            A large number of Filipinos are
situated in areas notorious for mosquitos and are exposed to the chance of
catching dengue. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease and is a current
problem to tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout the world (World Health
Organization, 2016). Su (2008) emphasizes that the increase of dengue incidence
has been affected by the rainfall patterns of the Philippines’ climate. Because
of this, some parts of Metro Manila and areas in other provinces which are
prone to flash floods have been recorded to have dengue outbreaks throughout
the years. The Department of Health (2017) points out that regions VI, III, and
the National Capital Region (NCR) are the top three regions with the most
dengue cases in the Philippines as of April 1, 2017. It has been recorded that
3,285 Filipinos have been affected in Metro Manila alone. 

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            Dengue-carrying mosquitos have
imposed a risk to many Filipino communities and can even lead to death. DOH
(2017) additionally advocate that from 2015-2017, it has been recorded that the
highest amount of deaths caused by dengue was in the year of 2016 with a total
of 179 deaths and 41,170 cases. Even though an effective vaccine exists, there
is still an estimated 200,000 cases and 30,000 deaths are reported annually
worldwide (Campbell, 2004). Shepherd (2017) states that 40%-50% of the world’s
population is at risk of the disease and when a severe case of dengue gets left
untreated, the mortality rate is as high as 20%. Signs and symptoms of dengue
include high fever, headache, muscle pains, nausea, and rashes.

            The locals exposed in mosquito
infested areas in the Philippines are not only at the risk of catching the
dengue virus; moreover, other mosquito-related illnesses include Chikungunya,
Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria and Filariasis (Gonzales, 2016). WHO (2016)
argues that most mosquito-related diseases are usually found in tropical and
sub-tropical areas in the world since the increase of temperature is directly
parallel to the volume of mosquitos. Barbara’s (2003) findings advocate that
mosquitos usually lay eggs in stagnant water as the larvae hatch in two to
three days and when hatched, they take about a week to grow into a full adult.

            The prevention of mosquito-related
diseases is now taken into consideration by many epidemiologists and
pathologists and thus many solutions have been proposed to decreases cases of
illnesses annually. Examples of such actions include eliminating their breeding
places and growing natural mosquito predators such as chickens, ducks, spiders,
and frogs (Barbara, 2003). However, as said by Campbell (2004), the most used
preventive measure would be the use of insect repellants; furthermore, they
come in different forms such as visual, bioacoustic, and chemical
characteristics. Bill’s (1998) study says that DEET (diethyl toluamide) is the
most effective repellant and can be effective for ten hours. Some reports said
it contains severe toxic reactions. The use of organic repellants has been
known as an alternative.

            Among all the extracts, citronella
has been popularly known around the world as the organic insect repellant
(Boonyuan et al., 2013). It has been proven by many epidemiologists and
pathologists that the oil extracts from the citronella grass serves as an
alternative to DEET. The natural repellant is also cost-effective and does not
impose any negative effects to the skin. Anuar & Yusof (2016) advocate the
view of using organic insect repellant oils on fabric and emphasize its
efficacy as a simple solution to prevent mosquitos; however, further research
is needed.

            There is a need to investigate on
the efficacy of organic insect repellants, especially the use of citronella
oil, as a proponent to prevent mosquitos and their vector borne diseases. Even
though it showcases a cost-effective and a skin-friendly repellant, many
experiments have shown that DEET still proves that it is the most effective in
spite of its high concentration. In the experiment of Kongkaew et al. (2011),
they conclude that the protection time of the citronella oil for preventing
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is less than 253 minutes in comparison with DEET. In
other organic mixture repellants, the oils rapidly evaporate causing loss of
efficacy and leaving the user unprotected (Maia & Moore, 2011).

            Vector-borne mosquito infections are
most common in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The increase in temperature
is directly proportional to the mosquito population in an area (WHO, 2016). As
observed by Barbara (2013), mosquitos lay their eggs and develop their larvae
in stagnant or undisturbed water. Su’s (2008) study emphasized that the climate
of the Philippines is a major facor to the outbreak of common mosquito
infections such as dengue from the Aedes
aegypti. The DOH’s (2017) data suggested that regions VI, III, and the
National Capital Region (NCR) are the top three regions with the most dengue
cases in the Philippines as of April 1, 2017 with Metro Manila having 3,284

            It is possible to lessen mosquito
bites in an area by either reducing the number of mosquitos or preventing them
from inflicting any harm.  As mentioned
by Barbara (2013), eliminating their breeding places, keeping natural mosquito
predators, and using less expensive repellants can all decrease the chances of
spreading any mosquito-related diseases. The most common way to prevent such
insects is to used repellants which can be applied to the skin such as DEET. Applying
a repellent to the skin turns a mosquito away just before it lands (Chauhan et
al., 2012). Other forms of repellents include visual and bioacoustics or the
use of sound (Campbell, 2004).

            The use of organic insect repellents
consisting of natural oils can serve as an alternative to the toxic reactions
of chemical-influenced insect resistance such as DEET. Among other common
natural oil extracts from lemongrass, hairy basil, and ginger, citronella oil
proved to have the greatest knockdown effect against Aedes aegypti population (Boonyuan et al., 2013). As suggested by Trongtokit
et al. (2005), the presence of such cost-efficient products is beneficial in
low-income communities where these native plants can be easily grown. There
would be no need of quality technology with high maintenance in order to
produce such affordable commodity.

            Citronella oil is widely known as
the popular organic mosquito repellent on the market. The use of this extract
can be found in the many varieties of citronella candles, citronella incense, and
citronella wristbands. However, as a basis of Ward’s (2002) study, the
citronella plant, alone, does not avert mosquitos since it is only in its
extract’s properties that does the work. Sproule (2015) confirms that the
mosquitos avoid the lemony smell of citronella oil; moreover, burning a
citronella candle is extremely useful in enclosed areas.

            Not only are citronella extracts
safe to use but because of its natural state, it remains harmful to the
environment unlike the other chemical-infused products. Nicola (2011) argues
that unlike many chemically produced insect repellents, citronella oil is
thought to cause little or no harm to wildlife or the environment, due to its
low levels of toxicity. With this in mind, it would be most ideal to
mass-produce such items. The higher quantity of supplies, more consumers can
easily access this resistance and can be more commonly found in stores.

            In order to increase the
effectiveness of citronella oil, some researchers conducted studies to find
more practical uses of the extract. For example, Kongkaew et al. (2011) hold
the position that the combination of citronella oil and vanillin is likely to
have a longer protection time compared with citronella oil alone; additionally,
the combination of citronella oil and vanillin provided complete repellency at
least 3 hours. Anuar & Yusof (2016) also conducted methods on preventing
mosquitos with the combination of repellent on textile.

            The research paradigm would be from
Anuar & Yusof’s (2016) study, ‘Methods of imparting mosquito repellent
agents and the assessing mosquito repellency in textile’. In order to avoid the
transmission of diseases, fabrics can act as a physical barrier between human
skin and the disease-carrying mosquitos. The most commonly used textile
materials to impart the mosquito repellent comes from cotton, polyester and
blended fabrics. An e?cient fabric material to treat with the mosquito
repellent agent has been proven to demonstrate the good properties of being a
practical or easy way to ward off mosquitos on a daily basis. Additionally,
among the set-ups in testing the efficacy of insect repellents, it has been
suggested that the use of the “mosquito cage test” is the most reliable
procedure due to the fact that there is a presence of a human test subject
which replicates a real mosquito-biting scenario.

            However, scientists still recommend
the use of chemical-infused repellents because of its long-lasting effects
against insects and its greater efficacy. It is also noticeable that using
organic oils is still unreliable in certain cases. In the dissertation of Maia
& Moore (2011), the use of citronella extract is not as effective as DEET
since the oils rapidly evaporate causing loss of efficacy and leaving the user
unprotected. Day’s (1999) and Thompson’s (1998) theses concluded that DEET
proved most effective among other natural extracts and efficacy can last up to
10 hours if strong concentrations are applied. DEET has a good safety record;
however, the appropriate and safest concentration to use remains unclear.

            A considerable amount of research
has been made regarding which type of method would be the most effective in
preventing mosquitos from harming and inflicting diseases. It has been
suggested that DEET proves most effective than any other organic repellant.
However, less attention has been paid to using organic extracts practically. As
stated before by Anuar & Yusof (2016), fabrics can act as a physical
barrier between human skin and the blood sucking mosquito. Additionally,
because citronella extracts have been known as the most potent insect repellent
among the other organic oils, a citronella infused fabric conditioner can be
produced and mass-produced because of its cost-efficiency.

            However, it is still not clear
whether the combination of citronella extracts with fabric conditioner can
prove effective since there were no other previous researches that have done such
method.  The researchers of this paper
should still measure the amount of citronella oil needed have high efficacy
while also being cost-efficient with the consumers. Additionally, experiments
should be conducted regarding how long the potency of the prototype can last.
Further research is still required.

            The aim of this paper is to create a
citronella infused fabric softener and prove its efficacy as a practical and
organic repellent against mosquitos; moreover, this product can aid communities
where mosquito-related infections are recurrent. Illnesses such as Chikungunya,
Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria, Filariasis, and the dengue virus are common in
tropical areas such as the Philippines because of the high temperature which is
most suitable for the growth of the mosquito population (WHO, 2016).  In accordance to the data of DOH (2017), there
are more than 20,000 reported dengue cases in the Philippines each year.
Because of this, the findings from this report would like to create a
cost-effective repellent which can be easily accessed and purchased by many
Filipinos in order to lessen the infections. Additionally, it is harmless to
the environment and to human contact because of its organic and natural state.

            This research study presents data on
the effectiveness of the citronella infused fabric softener in repelling of
mosquitos. The people who will benefit from this study are the communities
around the Philippines which are infested with mosquitos carrying deadly
diseases such as dengue. The experimental procedure would follow other past
experiments which also study the efficacy of insect repellents. In order to end
up with significant results, the researchers would use a “mosquito cage test”
in order to test the which varying percentages of citronella is the most
effective against mosquitos and cost-effective among Filipino communities. This
research follows the experimental approach of Anuar & Yusof’s (2016) study,
‘Methods of imparting mosquito repellent agents and the assessing mosquito
repellency in textile’.