Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Can you hear the gnats?

Earwax based Insect repellant
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
  [vote for,

Earwax makes a fine insect repellent. It's probably got something to do with evolution - keeping bugs out of your ears was handy when we lived in caves... (For those of you who don't believe in evolution, it just works. Who cares how?).

If we collect all of the Half Baker's earwax we can, we can nail the insect repellant market.

(For an extra-strength recipe, get some of the users to eat/drink Marmite [or Bovril]- That works too, and the blend should be overwhelming for even the most ardent sabre-toothed mosquito).

Dub, Sep 04 2005

The Straight Dope: Earwax http://www.straight...lassics/a5_111.html
"The wax coats the outer part of the ear canal, trapping germs and debris and preventing them from reaching the eardrum." Nothing about killing or repelling anyting. So, I'm not sure this is "common knowledge" - or, in fact, true. [jutta, Sep 04 2005]

U.S.Pharmacist: Cerumen http://www.uspharma...cle&page=8_1480.htm
Slightly acidic, and contains antibacterial enzyme lysozyme. But would that repel insects? [jutta, Sep 04 2005]

Wikipedia: Earwax http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear_wax
Echoes the above, except in more detail. I'm afraid the anti-insect function is there, but mechanical - if you want to kill them chemically, mineral oil is a much better bet. [jutta, Sep 04 2005]

THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM - Although they can't spell 'repellent' http://www.gpc.edu/...ibim/integument.htm
Art. III c [Dub, Sep 04 2005]

Neuroanatomy Final Review http://futurechiro....0Final%20Review.doc
41) Function of cerumen. - scent is insect repellant. - protects the ear from other antigens. [Dub, Sep 04 2005]

Mr. Larsen's Anatomy and Physiology website http://www.ncws.com...my/notes%5Cears.htm
Anatomy Lecture Notes: Ears: (auditory sense and equilibrium) "Inside the canal are hairs and modified sebaceous glands, called ceruminous glands, which secrete cerumen, or earwax, which traps irritants and is a powerful insect repellent " [Dub, Sep 04 2005]

Cerumen mining tool and technique http://www.cmaj.ca/...nt/full/173/12/1496
[Dub, Jan 09 2006]

More Cerumen excavating devices http://japundit.com.../category/mimikaki/
[Dub, Apr 04 2006]

wet or dry - how are you meant to tell? http://news.bbc.co..../health/4661366.stm
[po, Apr 04 2006]

Someone take a look at their earwax http://www.boingboi...ist_analyzes_t.html
via BoingBoing [Dub, Aug 08 2006]

They'll extract it for you http://mdn.mainichi...g00m0dm046000c.html
[Dub, Mar 02 2007]


       I think you'll find excess earwax is a repellent for most lifeforms, particularly ones of the same species but opposite gender.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 04 2005

       So... what'cha saying? - I should ditch the candles too?
Dub, Sep 04 2005

       Um, how did you discover this...?
DrCurry, Sep 04 2005

       I think it's (fairly) common knowledge... And I've never been bothered by creatures making themselves at home in my ears. I'll admit I'm less certain of Marmite, claim... but my bro-in-law insisted it wasn't Bovril or Vegemite.
Dub, Sep 04 2005

       Will it repel earwigs?
wagster, Sep 04 2005

       mixed with marmite - almost certainly.
po, Sep 04 2005

       [AbsintheWithoutLeave,]What's more, I've noticed that the things on my keyring all seem to have a devices specifically designed for farming the stuff. How's that for handy?... What's more, I have an almost inexhaustible supply! Hey! This is great stuff!   

       [wagster]It's nice to see I'm not the only person with this problem.   

       [po] 'Just tried this, and it actually improves the flavour... I'll phone Delia and Jamie, first thing.   

       [jutta] I don't think I read it anywhere, and I must have heard it somewhere... Perhaps I just hang around talking to strange folk? - Found some other links too...
Dub, Sep 04 2005

       This idea is so cool. I think it would sell great if it didnt look like earwax.
Chickenbreadthe1st, Sep 04 2005

       [Chickenbreadthe1St] Even cooler if it didn't smell like earwax, too.
Dub, Sep 04 2005

       Interesting links. I think this definitely calls for an experiment!
jutta, Sep 05 2005

       But, then all the 'bakers will have bugs in their brains...   

       Hmm, not quite a change from the present. [+]
daseva, Sep 05 2005

       [Dub] oh *that* Larsen. how disappointing.
po, Sep 05 2005

       But if we harvest all this wax, won't the harvestee be prone to insect attack?
coprocephalous, Sep 05 2005

       slip a few glazed donuts over each ear and wait. as the gnats enter your now extended ear canal attracted to the treacle - clap your hands quickly over the top. remove and wait for new gnats.
benfrost, Sep 05 2005

       [daseva/coprocephalous] Good point. I hadn't thought of that... I was too busy concentrating on the plus points... There again, it'd improve hearing, so it'd fix [Ian Tingale]'s problem. ... And anyway, a few extra neurones in one's head (even if they belong to another life-form) can't be that bad, can it?   

       [po] Yeah sorry bout that... Tho I'm sure if he read this, that'd change...   

       [benfrost] Have you considered that everyone will then look like Princess Leia, tho'?
Dub, Sep 05 2005

       i thought leia had more of a croissant effect - and besides these are glazed.
benfrost, Sep 05 2005

       Add a bit of custard and a dash of sherry and you could claim to be .... a trifle deaf! <t'tish> Thank you good night, you've been a great audience.
coprocephalous, Sep 05 2005

benfrost, Sep 05 2005

       Marmite repels gnats /midges /mosquitto's???!!!!   

       Thats fantastic news! I hate the smell of deet and it tastes nasty (especially on toast). I'll try using my favorite spread all over when the summer comes and i'll waft about reeking of lovely Marmite and free of bites!!!
Minimal, Jan 10 2006

       I though Ear Wax was made to trap any bugs going into your Ear? And unless I'm mistaken, Ear Wax has no bug repellant properties. Often in the summer months you can hear a mosquito buzzing round your Ear, and I'm sure that means he's in close proximity to your Ear. Still a great idea though :) .
EvilPickels, Jan 11 2006

       I used to have a kitten that absolutely adored the smell of earwax. She'd sneak up and night, and you'd wake up with her snuffling about in your ears. If you didn't stop her, she's get right in there and start having a good lick...brrr sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.
zen_tom, Apr 04 2006

       I've found that garlic, and/or oranges also work rather well. perhaps one of these would be a little more bearable, and easier to get.   

       Hmm, perhaps we could genetically alter rabbits to become earwax producers, and harvest from that ample source...
ye_river_xiv, Aug 09 2006


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