I’m not sure either. The pack of the mosquito repellent coils that give off clouds of lavender-scented smoke describes the contents as being detrimental to both mosquitoes and zancudos.
One of the elements that travelers in Mexico and Central America encounter is the insect world: the coastal areas on either the Caribbean or the Pacific shores are natural breeding grounds for bugs and the mountain ranges, when the rainy season is in full swing, provide instant habitats. The familiar orange aerosol can of Off becomes your new best friend.
Some sources say that zancudos are different than mosquitos and some say that they’re all part of the same genus. Maybe it’s just all about the marketing and packaging: “we kill more than just mosquitos!” The problem is, after reading the warning label on the coils and then the backside of the can of ‘˜Off’, this stuff might well kill more than just mosquitos. No, there’s no ‘˜Skull and Bones’ logo but there’s some serious warnings.
“Don’t have any contact with eyes, skin or mucous membranes. Avoid prolonged inhalation. Keep away from food. No direct contact or if so, wash with lots of water.”
Ok, but you’ve got to open the package, cut the wrapper on the container of purple coils, take one out and with what? Tongs or rubber gloves? They advertise that they’re good for twelve hours but don’t inhale and be sure to wash your hands. Hmmm. There’s a little metal stand that holds the deadly stuff: light one end, and let the mosquitos know that you mean serious deathly business — wait a minute — this stuff doesn’t kill mosquitos/zancudos — it kills the owner-operator.
‘˜Off’s equally bad: apply liberally, spray it on — but don’t inhale the “N,N-dietil-meta-toluamide de 15%. Don’t spray the baby’s hands and don’t use it as an atomizer.” The advertising does proclaim that it repels mosquitos that MAY carry the West Nile Virus, another twofer..use it and lose it, is what either of the brands seem to say and the primary ingredient in Off has a name that doesn’t bode well — ‘dietil’ — die til when? Can I have my money back?