Mosquito repellent soap - the new 'chik-V fighter'
Anastasia Cunningham, Gleaner Reporter
JAMAICANS ARE willing to try anything to prevent being victims of the debilitating chikungunya virus that is now rocking the nation, and key to that is not being bitten by any mosquitoes. Hence the new craze - mosquito repellent soap.
"Mi nuh get the chik thing yet and mi nuh intend fi get it, so me bathe with my mosquito soap every day, plus wash my clothes with it," declared one avid user.
"From me a use me mosquito soap not one mosquito bite me. Yuh nuh smell how it strong, once them smell this, mosquito stay far from you, and me a use it over a month now."
Manufactured in Jamaica by Blue Power Group Limited, the Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap with Citronella appears to be mainly available in downtown Kingston and from very few vendors. But several persons have been asking for it as word gets around about this new 'chik-V fighter'.
From his stall on West Queen Street, downtown Kingston, vendor Clifton Farquharson said ever since he started selling the product over a month ago, it has been moving like hot bread.
"Each day, I can sell up to 30 bars of the soap. A lot of people keep coming back for it and telling me that it work. They bathe with it, wash with it and say mosquito don't bite them when they use it," he said
Retailing the soap for $40 per bar, he said two weeks ago, he bought 10 boxes (30 per box) and he now needs to reorder.
Dr Dhiru Tanna, chairman of Blue Power Group Limited, said the Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap has been on the market for over a year, but sales jumped recently since the chikungunya epidemic hit Jamaica.
"It is a laundry soap that we make with a significant amount of citronella, which is a main ingredient in many mosquito repellents. Citronella is made out of lemon grass, it is not a chemical, and when added to products it tends to keep the mosquitoes away," Tanna told The Gleaner yesterday.
"In the old days, soap manufacturers used to add citronella as a perfume in their soap, we just went a little further and added an extra quantity because of the surge in mosquitoes."
Tanna said it was also safe to bathe with because of the vegetable oil component, and he has had several reports from persons who commend the product for effectively repelling mosquitoes while being soothing on the skin.
The company also has the bath soap Castile Mosquito Repellent with Citronella and Pimento Oil, which he said is made of natural products and very effective at keeping the pesky insects at bay.
"Citronella when combined with pimento oil has additional mosquito-repellent qualities," he said.