Mosquitoes becoming immune to DEET
DEET, the widely used insect repellent, is becoming less and less effective at repelling mosquitoes, according to new research done by Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A landmark study has found that while mosquitoes are initially repelled by the substance, they ignore it if they are later exposed to it again.
The study tested the response to DEET on Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, which are notorious for biting during the day and are capable of transmitting dengue fever and yellow fever viruses.
Researches in the past had demonstrated how some mosquitoes were genetically immune to the substance, but the new research has shown that even those that would usually be deterred developed a resistance.
Scientists say that results underline how more research is needed to find alternatives to the chemical. Dr. James Logan, who led the research, said: ‘The more we understand about how repellents work and how mosquitoes detect them, the better we can work out ways to get around the problem when they do become resistant to repellents.’
DEET is one of the most widely used active ingredients in insect repellents. It was developed by the US military, until recently it was not clear how the chemical worked, but recent research suggests that mosquitoes simply do not like the smell.
The new study involved providing the mosquitoes with an arm treated with DEET.
As expected, they were initially put off by the substance, but surprisingly, several hours later not all the mosquitoes were deterred by the repellant.
As Mosquito repellents are becoming less effective and as Dr. James Logan has stated we should start looking for solutions for when Mosquitoes do become immune to repellents.
A Company in Hong Kong called QM that has developing anti-mosquito devices for 8 years and has assembled tons of research materials on how to efficiently catch mosquitos. One of their newest devices is called The MBOX. The MBOX uses a new and highly effective method to catch mosquitoes.
First we have to understand that only female mosquitoes need blood (protein) in order to lay eggs. Female mosquitoes track their victim through CO2 up to a range of 50meters, combined with the sense of smell of H2O, female mosquitoes are very effective in tracking their victim. MBOX uses a new method developed by Akira Fujishima (President of the Tokyo University of Science), this method uses photo catalysis of titanium dioxide (also known as the Honda-Fujishima Effect). When a titanium dioxide surface is irradiated by light, the photo catalytic effect and hydrophilic are activated together. Any organic chemical in contact with the surface will undergo decomposition to CO2 and H2O and thus releasing a highly attractive smell for female mosquitoes. Once attracted and close enough the MBOX can suck in the mosquito and dehydrate the mosquito in an Eco-Friendly manner.