OT: BITE Tick Repellent - University of Pittsburgh

  • The CDC estimates approximately 100,000 Lyme disease cases per year in Pennsylvania, the highest number of diagnosed Lyme disease cases in the country.
  • Ticks find us via CO2-detecting sensors on their forelegs, which allows them to follow the CO2 released from our skin.
  • Our solution prevents ticks by using compounds that bind directly with the CO2 released from human skin, effectively masking us from tick detection.
  • Our product could make the use of DEET to repel ticks obsolete, without the potential negative side-effects of DEET products.
  • B.I.T.E Tick Repellent would make humans invisible to the ticks - a cloak of invisibility to prevent Lyme and other diseases carried by ticks!

Just a couple of weeks ago someone asked.

Apparently the ones we have are kind of toxic to humans.


Sound like it might help against mosquitoes as well.


This is the tick that scares me the most.

A bite from the Lone Star tick can cause people to develop an allergy to red meat, including beef and pork. The Lone Star tick has been implicated in initiating the red meat allergy in the US, and this tick is found predominantly in the Southeast, from Texas to Iowa and into New England.



People seem to think DEET is a “nasty chemical” to be avoided. Works pretty well when used occasionally. Are there valid concerns? Or is the usual fear?

As to absorbing skin carbon dioxide CO2 is acidic. Bases should work. That usually means low odor amines. Probably adjusted to moderate pH. Ethanolamines, aminomethylpropanol (AMP), trishydroxymethylaminomethane (usually known as tham or tris) come to mind. Bicarbonates like baking soda might work. Formulated into a product.


Sounds good, but what about the CO2 from our breath?

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