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Japan Scientist Develops New Mosquito Catcher Using Human Odour as Bait

Mosquito Catcher (Photo: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/sci_tech/science/AJ201410300094)

Mosquito Catcher (Photo: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/sci_tech/science/AJ201410300094)

A new mosquito trap was developed by a Japanese company using human odour as bait to attract mosquitoes and trap them, ending long-term menace to humans from mosquitoes leading to malaria, dengue and other recurrent fevers.

The new device developed by Kenzo Iwao, a former professor at the Nagoya Institute of Technology who has studied tiger mosquitoes, which transmit viruses typically found in tropical and subtropical regions, for about 20 years, came out with the idea using plastic contraption, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported.

The plastic contraption, invented by the 65-year-old three years ago, is black and triangular in shape, with equilateral sides measuring 40 cm. The device has a sticky sheet with an original liquid coating composed of the same odour of human sweat and plant extract, which mosquitoes are drawn to.

When placed outside, the device is said to resemble a crouched animal such as a dog or a cat in the eyes of mosquitoes and traps the species of small fly. Given that it needs no power, the device is easy to use outdoors and in rural areas where dengue and malaria are in vogue.

Unlike earlier devices which are basically mosquito repellers, which use power to heat the device and drive away mosquitoes, the new device will attract them and then trap them.

While most of Iwao’s customers have been dairy farmers, inquiries from schools, kindergartens and shrines poured in after a local dengue fever case was confirmed in Japan in August.

Iwao said he has been unable to keep up with demand for the device, priced at 3,000 yen (about $27), which he is selling  through a venture company established in 2011 with support from the Nagoya Institute of Technology.



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