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Potential Breakthrough in Repelling Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

Nicely landscaped outdoor spaces are an attractive apartment community amenity, and summer is the time to enjoy them. Unfortunately, mosquitoes like these spaces as well, and the Zika virus has made their presence more ominous.

Pest control companies offer mosquito abatement treatments, but the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, is notoriously hearty and can breed in the smallest amounts of standing water.

But, there might be good news on the horizon. A research team led by scientists at the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University has potentially found a way to repel female mosquitoes. Only the females search out human blood, which they need after mating to produce eggs.

Researchers found that female mosquitoes have a receptor on their legs that when activated keeps them from consuming sugar — their second food choice after blood — and makes them fly away.

Now the trick will be to transfer that repellent trigger to human blood, which could reduce the lifespan of mosquitoes or their ability to reproduce.

 

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