According tomedia reports, mosquito nets not only help protect people from mosquito bites, but also cause the death of any insects exposed to them if they are treated with insecticides. A simple new technique could make the mosquito more lethal, but safer for humans.
Using a video tracking system developed by engineers at the University of Warwick, scientists at the University of Liverpool’s School of Tropical Medicine first analysed how mosquitoes fly around traditional mosquito nets. They found that insects spend a lot of time flying back and forth on top of mosquito nets.
To place obstacles on the flight path, the researchers developed so-called “barrier nets.” The device is not really of much use because it is just an insecticide-treated mesh rectangular mosquito net block that protrudes vertically from the top of a conventional mosquito net. However, it is very easy to block the mosquito’s way.
This causes them to collide with them, exposing more insects to pesticides. In fact, on-site tests conducted in Burkina Faso have shown that “barrier nets” are very effective in killing Gambian mosquitoes that transmit malaria. This is true even if insecticides are treated only and not the remaining nets are used. This is an important consideration, considering that mosquitoes are becoming more resistant to traditionally used pyrethroid insecticides.
Professor Philip McCall, lead author of the study, said: “This paves the way for the use of insecticides previously unused for mosquito nets, as direct contact can be harmful to health. In addition, if we use only effective insecticides on protective boards, this means that the cost of making mosquito nets will be significantly lower and the price of over-the-counter drugs will be lower for those who need them. It also means that we can consider using other pesticides that might have been excluded previously because they were too expensive. “
A recent paper published in the journal Nature Microbiology described the study.