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Can Skrillex’s Music Protect Us From Mosquitoes?

If you’ve lived in the tropics, you would know how annoying and equally deadly mosquito bites can be. But did you know that a particular Skrillex song acts as a mosquito repellent?

The Song “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” was observed to function as a mosquito repellent because of its low-frequency vibrations. Further research also shows that mosquitoes exposed reproduce less compared to mosquitoes that were not exposed.

Why Are Mosquitos Dangerous?

Adult female mosquitoes are dangerous because they are the primary vectors for several diseases that can be deadly to humans. Certain species of mosquitoes carry viruses that cause yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, and more.

Mosquitoes are perhaps the most dangerous animals in the world.

Omar Akbari PhD

(Source: Healthline)

How Can Low-Frequency Vibrations Affect Mosquitoes?

Who would have thought that listening to electronic music could be a way to avoid mosquito bites? According to a recent study done, listening to Skrillex’s music can prevent mosquitoes from approaching you and breeding. The researchers say that sound is crucial for many animals, which determines their ability to survive, reproduce and maintain their population.

In the study, they used adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These specific species are known to be the carriers of yellow fever virus, dengue virus, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus. They studied the effects of electronic music on the species and whether this can be used as a repellant.

The researcher specifically chose the song Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex because of the mix of high and very low-frequency vibrations.

In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception signals from conspecific members of the same species and hosts.

Hamady Dieng

(Source: BBC)

How Did the Mosquitoes React to the Music?

Female mosquitoes need to consume blood from mammals in order to lay their eggs. By causing a delay in the sexual interaction with a male adult mosquito, it lessens the likelihood of them seeking blood.

The female adult mosquitoes were distracted by the music as it played. They started feeding after the music was turned off. It was noted that the occurrence of sexual interaction and feeding while the music was playing, was at a lower point.

The observation that such music can delay host attack, reduce blood feeding, and disrupt mating provides new avenues for the development of music-based personal protective and control measure against Aedes-born diseases.

Hamady Dieng

(Source: BBC)

Is This Different from Soundwave Insect Repellents?

While the concept of using soundwave insect repellents is similar to the principle of this study, the difference is the variation of the soundwave.

In 2012, one of the world’s top advertising campaigns went to an ultrasound device that repels mosquitoes. The idea is quite the same and is pretty simple. But does it work? According to scientists, it does not work, and no studies back up the claim.

They have no effect on preventing mosquito bites, and should not be recommended or used. Given these findings from 10 carefully conducted studies, it would not be worthwhile to conduct further research on EMRs or Electronic Mosquito Repellants in preventing mosquitoes biting or in trying to prevent the acquisition of mosquito-borne diseases.

Bart Knols

(Source: BBC)

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