Natural Deterrent for Mosquitoes

This small article from yesterday’s i paper records a huge breakthrough ii the fight against malaria, one of the world’s great killers and compromisers of human health but as it affects people in tropical countries, they often lack the means to pay for pharmaceuticals which are in any case becoming ineffective.

Sleeping next to a chicken could help protect humans from malaria, researchers have claimed. A species of mosquito that transmits malaria in sub-saharan Africa has been found by researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Addis ababa University, Ethiopia, to avoid chickens.

This is the first time scientists have shown that malaria transmitting mosquitoes actively avoid feeding on certain species using their sense of smell according to research published in Malaria Journal.

Used in combination with other methods of combating malaria, odours emitted by chickens and other species could prove useful in controlling the mosquito, findings suggest.

Rickard Ignell, the study’s author, said: “We were surprised to find that malaria mosquitoes are repelled by the odours emitted by chickens. This study shows for the first time that malaria mosquitoes actively avoid feeding on certain animal species, and that this behaviour is regulated through odour cues.”

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