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Dengue: why the sale of repellents fell by up to 40% and how to use them correctly


In the places of sale, they attribute the drop in demand to the fact that few mosquitoes are seen, due to the low amount of rain.

There is an alert for dengue cases.

It is not a feeling.

Although not so many mosquitoes bite.

The National Ministry of Health raised the alarm even before the latest worrying figures: more than 9,000 cases, of which more than 90% correspond to community circulation in different regions of the country.

The collateral issue is that, given the

low perception of risk due to "seeing few mosquitoes"

, as they say to


from all points of sale,

the second preventive measure

 (after the rubbish to avoid the accumulation of water that allows the life of larvae),

is also on the decline: the sale of repellents fell by up to 40%.

And there are various explanations as to why these aerosols, sprays or creams are not selling as much as one would presume.

And much less than last year.

"I think there is no awareness of dengue,"

María Laura García, from the Network of Professional Pharmacies,


Clarín .

García points out that the previous summer "we had an invasion of mosquitoes, with all that this represents for the people. There were many cases of dengue reported here in the Capital, but we have not felt any 'closely' (he is referring to the pharmacies in the network). Now, on the other hand, yes. Very closely. People come with the prescription with dengue treatments for the house (pain relievers)".


between 25 and 28°C

are optimal for the survival of the transmitting mosquito.

And humidity and rain promote mosquito breeding sites: any container where water is deposited.

The key fact is that last year and, actually, since 2020, many pharmacies

went out of stock

of repellent (as they say when they run out of units).

"This year it did not happen. It is sold to a much lesser extent than in 2021 and 2022. Before, other brands had to be used due to shortages and the pharmacy could not meet the demand for analgesic treatment for home rest (in conjunction with the demand for covid)".

Added to the main focus, which is the drop in preventive attitude, the pharmaceutical company says that another reason for the few sales is that

"the leftover repellent from previous years is used"

, because they usually have an expiration date of more than one year.

"In the previous two years, I think the shortage was more related not to dengue awareness, but to the


caused by mosquito invasions," the pharmacist reinforces.

In the midst of falling purchasing power, using repellent is a cost that, it seems, is being dispensed with.

The first brand starts at $625 for the 170cc spray.

The extra length climbs to $783, on average.

The one reached by Fair Prices, from another company, is $302. 

They are bought and advertised less

From one of the main supermarket chains they mark a decrease in sales

 of 40% compared to last year


And others give details of the intrinsic sale of this product.


These are bad seasons (in the commercial sense) because there is a lack of mosquitoes.

If you see an invasion, you go and buy in a massive way. There are fewer of them, the strong heat does not help the proliferation of the mosquito when there is so much drought (it does not rain and less water stagnates )", they explain to



"From October to March is the high season for repellents. The drop in sales is mainly related to two factors: the weather, due to low rainfall and humidity, which meant that there were not so many mosquitoes," they argue from another large chain.

In addition, the No. 1 brand did not make the advertising investment of other years.

"So even though they were cheaper in the supermarket, they didn't sell as well compared to cheaper alternatives like coils."

That the repellent is at Fair Prices (that brand has the cream, kids, at


) and has dollarized imported components, they say, discouraged promotions, due to the low profit margin compared to the gondola price. 

A third string of that magnitude gives a traced answer.

"It fell 15%. Repellents are a product category that is directly tied to whether or not there is precipitation."

Guide to use (well) the repellent

The questions are basic but daily.

And the answers can fall into the traps of common sense.

That is why


consulted Arnaldo Casiró, infectologist and director of the Center for Medical Specialties (CEMAR) 1 of the City Government.

Is it better to use the long-lasting repellent or wear the lesser one more times?

​"The long-lasting or not is the same. The important thing is to apply it as many times as recommended on the product's packaging, to be protected."

At the same price, aerosol or spray?

"They are the same, only that there are those who prefer one or the other. They have the advantage of covering more surface in less time (compared to the cream), but the important thing, again, is to be placed in all the uncovered areas."

In the whole body or in some specific areas to scare them away because of the smell?

​"It should be applied to all areas where the skin is uncovered. If applied with sunscreen, the sunscreen is applied first and then the repellent. Never use it under clothing (to avoid irritation and wasting the product)".

If you have to use repellent all the time, can you still use perfume?

"You can use perfume, but before the repellent."

If there is a baby at home, better spirals or tablets?

And the cream in the boys?

There are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Casiró brand, how to protect the crib or stroller with mosquito nets when you stay outdoors.

"Children should not apply repellent on their own. The adult should first apply it to their own hands and then rub it on the children, avoiding the eyes and mouth. It should also be rubbed around the ears if it is cream. Do not put it on their hands, because they could put it in their mouths, or where their skin is irritated, cut or burned."

It is not recommended to apply repellents associated with sunscreens in the same formulation.

Spirals, tablets and liquids for plug-in devices, in addition to repelling, kill mosquitoes.

They are poison.

That is the main care in a house with children.

They should not be used in environments with little ventilation, nor in the presence of asthmatics or respiratory allergies.

And you have to keep your head more than 2 meters from the point of release of the product.

In the first two presentations, excessive use must be avoided, and continuous exposure to "electric liquid" is not particularly recommended for children.

At work, where you will be for about 8 hours, should you plug in a "45 night" product if it is difficult to put repellent back on? 

​"All the measures that are taken are fine. But before plugging in or putting on any repellent, wherever, you have to make sure that there are no places with stagnant water such as pots, flowerpots, etc., that facilitate the proliferation of the transmitting mosquito."

Collaborated: Irene Hartmann


look too

Dengue in the City: due to high circulation, they stop testing in more neighborhoods

Turn in the strategy against Covid: the WHO recommends not giving more booster vaccines to the general population

Source: clarin

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