Laura Harrington of Cornell University in the U.S. will test whether acoustic signals in traps can attract specific disease-causing species of mosquitoes, particularly males, to aid control efforts. Traps usually use chemicals to mostly attract female mosquitoes searching for a blood meal. Mosquitoes are very sensitive to sounds, and males likely use them to identify mates. They will first test different frequencies and magnitudes of sounds representing wing beats from Aedes aegypti females, which transmit dengue fever, for their ability to elicit a physiological response in males. Selected sounds will then be tested and optimized using large field cages. They will also build field-ready solar- or battery-powered traps that can be remotely controlled by a cell phone app to alter the sound depending on time of day or species of mosquito being targeted.
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