Malaria mosquitos on an island in Kenya have been cut down a whopping 70% all thanks to a new solar-powered trap that lures the buggers in with human body odor. The traps, which have been tested on Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria, haven’t just cut the mosquito population down either. The rate of malaria infections has been reduced by 30% also. This is a major victory when it comes to this devastating disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and costs the country $12 billion every year.
This new trap uses five different chemicals that the human body produces as well as carbon dioxide to lure unsuspecting mosquitos into its clever clutches. With the insect’s inherent need to smell humans in order to survive, scientists believe that it is unlikely the insects will develop a resistance to the bait, one of the main problems faced in creating these traps. The ability to recharge with solar power also helps negate the issue of finding a power source for the traps as well, a common problem in most of Africa. During the three year trial scientists found that the cases of malaria dropped by 30% for people that lived in houses with one of these traps. I’d say this is a pretty exciting advance in the world’s never-ending war against mosquitos.
With all of the advances being made in mosquito control methods do you think we may just get a handle on the mosquito-borne illnesses in the near future?