It was an Australian invention developed in war-time conditions that allowed Queen Elizabeth II to tour insect-free in '63.
And as you slap away those pesky mozzies this summer, spare a thought for CSIRO entomologist Doug Waterhouse who developed the tried and true-blue insect repellent which grew up to become Aerogard.
Originally produced to protect Allied troops stationed in the Pacific from malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, the spray caught the attention of the masses 20 years later when Queen Elizabeth II ventured out for a round of golf.
The previous day, an aide was meant to spray the repellent on the Queen before she attended a garden party at Government House in Canberra. However when the moment came he lost his nerve. And the Queen was bothered by insects. Not so the following day when she hit the greens armed with a fine layer of insect repellent.
Queen Elizabeth II at the 1963 garden party at Yarralumla. Photo: Fairfax Photographic
"The best thing to do it to apply it to your skin like you would sunscreen," Dr Webb said. "Do it thoroughly, otherwise the mosquitos will find the chink in your armour."
While the royal link that brought insect repellent to the masses is true, not all mozzie management techniques stack up. Here are some hits - and misses.
1: Drinking beer repels mosquitoes, right?
As much as we want it to be, this one isn't true. A study conducted in Burkina Faso found mosquitoes were actually more likely to target beer drinkers than water drinkers. The research concerned just one type of mosquito: Anopheles gambiae. This apparently malt-mad mozzie isn't among the mosquitoes found in Australia. However it is possible that drinking alcohol increases your meal appeal for mosquitoes, insects which are more attracted to a higher body temperature and increased carbon dioxide output from faster breathing. "But it's not as simple as that," Dr Webb said. "By avoiding beer you're not going to avoid mosquito bites."
2: Eating certain foods makes you unpalatable to mosquitoes
Wouldn't it would be great if tucking into a banana or overdosing on Vegemite or garlic sent the mosquitoes flying for the hills. Diet can influence the smell of your skin, which is one of the things that alert mozzies to you. There are up to 400 chemical compounds found on human skin however diet influences just a fraction - and not enough to stop mozzies targeting you for a meal.
3: Wearing light clothes stops mosquitoes being drawn to you
This is kind of true. They are attracted to dark colours, particularly navy blue. Wearing pale colours won't protect you from being bitten - but it might mean you get fewer bites.
4: Mosquitoes are attracted to people with type O blood
Some research has shown people with type O blood are "tastier" and more attractive to mosquitoes than those with type B, AB or A. The research comes out of Africa and involves the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which Dr Webb doubts would translate to the mosquito species found in Australia. Plus, if we're going to be blunt, there isn't a blood type that a mosquito won't feed on.
Dr Cameron Webb observing some mosquitoes in his Sydney University lab. Photo: Nick Moir
5: Mosquitoes prefer women over men and children over adults
To a point, this is true. Less body hair makes women a more accessible meal and therefore a greater target to the female mosquito, who is seeking protein and iron-rich blood to nurture her eggs. Similarly young children would be more appealing than a hirsute hombre. Children are also more likely to react to bites and over time gain a tolerance to the mosquito saliva.
6: Being pregnant turns you into a mosquito magnet
A lot of the research on whether this is true comes out of Africa because of the malaria risk to pregnant women. Studies have suggested that pregnant women are marginally more susceptible to mosquitoes, including this one which was conducted in Sudan where the Anopheles arabiensis mosquito is found. However that doesn't mean the results translate to Australia, where the common backyard mosquito is Aedes notoscriptus. "You can't hold up a chicken and say everything to learn about birds comes from this chicken and it's the same with mosquitoes," Dr Webb said. "There are thousands of different types and they all have different quirks and ecologies and that influences how they respond to people."
Aedes notoscriptus - better known as the common backyard mosquito. Photo: Stephen Doggett, NSW Health Pathology
7: Citronella deters mosquitoes
The candles and coils will reduce the quantity of bites - but they won't prevent them. Dr Webb said the ones that work best contain insecticide, as they kill mosquitoes rather than just deter them. Remember that these devices usually work best when there's not much of a breeze, so the fumes aren't diluted.
8: Isn't vitamin B like kryptonite for mosquitoes?
It's been tested. And tested. And tested. And the results are conclusive. Taking extra doses of vitamin B tablets to ward off mosquitoes doesn't work.
9: Bug zappers and UV lights can control mosquitoes
Zappers may kill a small number of mosquitoes but they also kill other insects and overall do more harm than good. As for the UV lights, there's not much evidence they attract mozzies and if they do it's the males. Which don't bite.
10: Take the natural approach: grow 'mozzie blocker' plants in your garden
Think about it. Are coastal areas with ti trees free of mosquitoes? Exactly. Sure, at concentrated levels the oils extracted from plants such as ti tree, melaleuca and eucalyptus might repel mosquitoes. But growing the plant in your garden won't.
11: Apps that use sound to repel mozzies work
No. They don't work. There's no evidence that apps which claim to emit a frequency mosquitoes dislike or replicate the sound of a dragonfly's wing beat to scare the mozzies off work. So save your money.