is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist

Study supports claims of fabric softener sheets repelling insects

While some may have been using this antidote for years, experiments by researchers revealed scientific evidence that Bounce fabric softener dryer sheets either directly or indirectly repel adult fungus gnats under laboratory conditions.

A new study suggests there may be some truth to claims by gardeners that tucking Bounce sheets in your pocket keep the insects away.

While some gardeners may have been using this antidote for years, experiments by researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Illinois revealed scientific evidence that Bounce fabric softener dryer sheets either directly or indirectly repel adult fungus gnats under laboratory conditions.

The study was conducted over the last two years and was designed to determine the repellant activity of Bounce fabric softener dryer sheets and to isolate and identify the volatile components of the sheets. Analyses showed a major component of the sheets to be linalool, which is found naturally in some plants. Though it is toxic to several mite and insect pests, little is known of its ability to repel insects.

Raymond Cloyd, professor, K-State’s Department of Entomology, decided to pursue the study after hearing claims by two gardeners and a colleague that Bounce sheets repel insects.

“Being a scientist, I didn’t just shrug it off,” he said. “I thought about it, cogitated on it and decided to test this out quantitatively.”

Cloyd said it is too early to foresee the effects this study may have on gardening or production practices since they still don’t know the longevity of the repellency or how far away insects can be repelled.

“We do plan on conducting another phase of the study,” he said. “We would like to do a greenhouse study with either the Bounce fabric softener or the oils we’ve been working with.”

The results of the study were published in early December in HortScience.

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish