mosquito control

New Ways To Kill Mosquitoes

Bart Knols: 3 new ways to kill mosquitoes

From TED

Why do some mosquitoes bite some people, and not others?  Could the smell of humans be the key to attracting mosquitoes into their own demise?  In this video, Bart Knols, a doctor committed to killing mosquitoes and ending malaria, explores some new ways to use a mosquito's killer instincts against them, and consequently may be the key to containing the spread of deadly malaria and other mosquito borne diseases.  Could a certain brand of cheese be the key to stopping the spread of malaria?

Here is an excerpt from the post:

First, we observed that not all mosquito species bite on the same part of the body. Strange. So we set up an experiment whereby we put a naked volunteer in a large cage, and in that cage we released mosquitos to see where they were biting on the body of that person. And we found some remarkable differences. On the left here you see the bites by the Dutch malarial mosquito on this person. They had a very strong preference for biting on the face. In contrast, the African malarial mosquito had a very strong preference for biting the ankles and feet of this person, and that of course we should have known all along because they're called mosqui-toes, you see? (Laughter) That's right. (Applause)

And so we started focusing on the smell of feet, on the smell of human feet, until we came across a remarkable statement in the literature that said that cheese smells after feet rather than the reverse. Think of it. And this triggered us to do a remarkable experiment. We tried, with a tiny little piece of Limburger cheese, which smells badly after feet, to attract African malaria mosquitos. And you know what? It worked. In fact, it worked so well that now we have a synthetic mixture of the aroma of Limburger cheese that we're using in Tanzania and has been shown there to be two to three times more attractive to mosquitos than humans. Limburg, be proud of your cheese, as it is now used in the fight against malaria. (Applause) That's the cheese, just to show you.

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