Simple design modification of bed nets influences anti-mosquito effectivity
Mosquitos carrying malaria cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. While bed nets offer some protection from night bites, soaking them in insecticide poses a risk to human health, while insects grow resistant to some 'safer' insecticides like pyrethroid. Here a surprisingly simple solution blocks female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes as they try to feed on a human volunteer. Adding a vertical panel to a bed net – strategically positioned over the sleeper’s torso, where the insects circle – interferes with the coloured flight paths of these 25 mosquitos. Treating this top panel with insecticide – rather than the whole net – provides a safer and cheaper way to use powerful chemicals, and if adopted by the World Health Organisation, could provide widespread protection in parts of the world affected by malaria.
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