It's always been a tough choice on holiday - do you cover yourself with a disgusting smelling spray, burn toxic coils and risk setting the hotel room alight, or give in and get eaten alive by the mosquitoes. It appears there may be another option, a good old rum punch. Scientists have always known that mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 in our breath as well as our smelly feet and armpits. Mosquito repellants contain chemicals that target the mosquito receptors that pick up these smells however they are too expensive for daily use in poor regions where mosquito transmitted diseases are pandemic. A team at the University of California have been looking at the chemicals in common cheap plants and substances that might deter mosquitoes. The team found that the ethyl pyruvate found in rum and some wine was the best repellant and that cyclopentanone a minty flavouring was the best attractant. So the way to keep mozzies at bay appears to be to turn yourself into a salty old seadog, avoid brushing teeth, drinking mojitos, or chewing gum and douse yourself with rum. There are other alternatives of course ... citronella, hairy basil oil, vetiver oil to name but a few.