• GC-MS analysis shows fabric softener sheets repel bugs
    Fabric softener repels gnats, GC-MS analysis shows


GC-MS analysis shows fabric softener sheets repel bugs

Dec 24 2010

An old wives' tale has been proven to be true using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

Researchers writing in HortScience, the online journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, explain their GC-MS analysis of volatile compounds contained in Bounce fabric conditioner sheets.

Among the fragrances in the sheets was linalool, a substance known to be toxic to insects and mites from a variety of different species.

Beta-citronellol, a mosquito repellent, was also found to be present in the sheets following the quantitative analysis of the chemical ingredients detected.

When gnats were allowed to choose between a compartment containing Bounce or an empty container, almost three times as many preferred the latter environment.

This leads the researchers to suggest that fabric softener could prove to be an alternative means of reducing gnat infestations in greenhouses.

HortScience is published seven times each year and has been produced by the society since 1990.

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