Fighting Mosquitoes With Smelly Socks

What do you use if you want to trap and kill mosquitoes? If you’re Fredros Okumu, all you need is the smell of some old, sweaty socks.

An African inventor recently discovered an interesting fact. While humans may find the scent of sweaty socks repulsive, mosquitoes are attracted to the smell. So, he has devised a way to use the scent and create a trap for the disease-carrying pests, reports The Gazette.

The trap uses chemicals that mimic human foot odour to draw mosquitoes inside a shuttered box, about the size of a garbage can. Once inside, the mosquitoes are poisoned by a powerful insecticide.

“We use a synthetic attractant to mimic a real human being,” Okumu told Postmedia News from Tanzania. “Mosquitoes go in thinking it’s a human being, but they don’t find any blood. Instead they get contaminated and die.”

Okumu’s research found that mosquitoes are drawn to humans by the scent of ammonia, lactic acid, carbon dioxide and other substances released by skin, sweat and breath.

The synthetic attractant, Okumu’s research has found, attracts four times more mosquitoes than real humans.The trap kills between 74 and 95 per cent of mosquitoes that enter it.

Before developing a synthetic compound to lure mosquitoes, Okumu baited his traps with dirty old socks collected from locals in Isakara, in Southeast Tanzania.

Photo by How can I recycle this

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