MANHATTAN, Kan. — A new study suggests a link between tucking Bounce sheets into your pockets and repelling insects.
Gardeners have been using this antidote for years, and experiments by researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Illinois have revealed scientific evidence that Bounce fabric softener dryer sheets either directly or indirectly repel adult fungus gnats under laboratory conditions.
The two-year study was conducted and designed to determine the repellent 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 of Kansas State’s Department of Entomology, decided to pursue the study after hearing claims that Bounce sheets repelled insects.
“Being a scientist, I didn’t just shrug it off,” he said.
Cloyd said it is too early to foresee the effects this study may have on gardening or production. They still don’t know the longevity of the repellence effect 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.”