Professor William Cumming OBE, BSc, PhD, ARCST, C.Eng, FRIC, FI Chem.E, Departmental Head of Chemistry at the Royal Technical College(now Strathclyde University), Glasgow, first suggested Dimethyl Pthalate as an effective insect repellent during WW2.
Prof. Cumming formulated the first chemically prepared insect repellent and called it 'DiMP' an acronym of DMP.
'DiMP' was made and packaged as a cream by ICI in the UK and used with
great success by the Allied Forces in North Africa, during WW2, to protect
the troops from the mosquitos and sand flies in these areas.
The idea of this safe insect repellent was left behind for some years and DEET based products proliferated with little or no development other than increased percentage of DEET in solvent.
Paton Cumming, Prof. Cumming's nephew, an active golfer and river angler, was intrigued with this DMP insect repellent and being in the natural food flavouring and colouring business felt that this was a product he could produce and use for his own benefit!
He started to distribute the product to his friends and named it Shoo! He was reluctant to give it to any golfing friends as there were clear benefits from keeping the secret to himself! In fact he claimed it was worth 5-6 strokes off his card if his opponent wasn't using it! His fishing friends were so impressed with the product that they urged him to put it on the market which he did in 1980. Shoo! was first manufactured by AP Cumming Ltd (later to become Woodside Labs Ltd), Blairmore, by Dunoon, Argyllshire, Scotland.
Mr. Cumming went on to further develop the product to contain skin softeners
which enhanced the longevity of an application and moisturises the skin.
The product was in the recent past manufactured and bottled at Woodside Laboratories Ltd, Drumblade, by his son Alfie Cumming.
Shoo! has been used extensively throughout Scotland, mainly in the West
as it is wetter and warmer than elsewhere in Scotland the acid soil in
the Highlands makes it an ideal breeding ground. This is where the midge
proliferates. Shoo! is used by Utility Companies, Forestry Industry and
Regional Councils. Shoo! was supplied to the Organisers of two of the
largest men's and women's golf tournament in Scotland in 1997 at Loch
Lomond and Glen Eagles. It was supplied to the Scotland World Cup Soccer
Team that competed in France'98. It has also accompanied them in their
last two World Cup competitions for which Scotland qualified.
Cambridge University and Dundee University requested Shoo! be supplied as thier preferred Insect Repellent on several Rain Forest expeditions as the product could be formulated to be water resistant also.
Shoo! Insect Repellent Products and all associated business operations are now being represented globally by ECOBRANDS North America a division of OakMar Corp.