With no vaccine available for dengue and chikungunya, consumers are rushing to grab the latest mosquito repellents in whatever form they can get -- creams, oils, gels, sprays, stickers and vapourisers.
The sale of repellents is 10 times more than what it was in summer, according to unofficial estimates by companies.
Anti-mosquito product makers, including Dabur, Reckitt Benckiser and Godrej are planning to introduce more products in keeping with this demand. Apart from aggressively launching products, companies are waging a price war by offering products as low as R1.
Godrej, makers of brand Good Knight, is planning to enter the outdoor repellent space.
“We plan to launch an entire range of outdoor mosquito repellents, which will also include antimosquito stickers,” said a company official. “We are present in the indoor mosquito repellent category but the diseases are spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito in the morning, when people are out of their home and working,” the official added.
Dabur, makers of the outdoor-mosquito repellent cream, Odomos, is also planning to expand its range.
“We are working on two more innovations. We want to launch them soon but this will be decided only after checking their efficacy,” said Praveen Jaipuriar, marketing head, personal care, Dabur India.
While Godrej has launched the GoodKnight card, a paper-based mosquito repellent for just R 1, Dabur has also launched its Odomos sachet for the same price.
Considering the changing patterns of mosquito-borne diseases, Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has also launched products under its popular brand, Mortein.
“Due to changing climatic conditions, such as extended winters, summers and the delayed monsoon season -- mosquitoes are showing signs of changing seasonality,” said a company spokesperson. “RB is witnessing an increase in demand for liquid electric diffusers,” the spokesperson added.
German drug and chemical maker Bayer has launched a pack of tablets in India, which control the breeding of mosquitoes in water.
“As 80% of a mosquito’s life stage is spent in water, it is important to control the breeding of mosquitoes. In order to enhance the duration of control, we have launched an innovative larvicide called Barcelo Tab, to control the breeding of mosquitoes in water,” said a spokesperson at Bayer.
The product is used by local municipal corporations for community-based larva control in societies and homes. The company, globally, is investing in newer product development as well.
India’s insect repellent market clocks R 4,400 crore in retail sales a year, according to a report by Euromonitor. Coils are the top selling repellents with a 50% market share, although sprays are also gaining popularity.
The World Health Organisation said in a statement on Thursday, that till date, there is no vaccine available to prevent dengue and chikungunya, although research is ongoing. “The only effective preventive measure is protection against mosquito bites and vector control,” it said.