This past year of 2016 was certainly the year of the mosquito. The Zika outbreak in South America and even the United States dominated headlines. Every subject from containment to government funding for Zika research and relief was tackled by every news outlet possible. So it is understandable, yet disappointing, that an interesting study telling about a mosquito’s attraction to plants that smell like human sweat went unnoticed. However, this recent academic finding does have its connections with Zika. Largely because the research conducted on plant smells and how they attract mosquitoes has led to potential solutions to the Zika epidemic.
Since it has been seen in the past that mosquitoes are attracted to orchids the team of researchers decided to use some complicated chemistry to isolate each odor-producing chemical emitted by the orchids. It turns out that mosquitoes are attracted to the same smells that a mosquito’s blood-host gives off, and those blood-hosts are us. This recent study’s most valuable accomplishment has to do with what the researchers are referring to as “mosquito bait”. More specifically, the team of researchers believe that these human-like orchid smell that skeeters cannot resist could be used to lure mosquitoes into deathtraps. So this one study could lead to ideas that could potentially prevent many Zika related deaths.
Do you foresee any possible logistical or safety problems that could arise if smell-traps were created to capture mosquitoes?