Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait To Reduce Mosquito Population

Researchers have found a way to drastically reduce mosquito populations in areas where fruit sugar is hard for mosquitos to come by. They have demonstrated that fruit sugar is not just an optional food source for Anopheles mosquitoes that are responsible for Malaria, but is actually essential for their survival. The scientists have conducted experiments in two Israeli oases, and found that at the sugar-poor site, female mosquitoes took longer to grow a batch of eggs and if the female's lifespan was shortened by a lack of sugar, the eggs would not mature into vectors capable of malaria transmission.

As a result of this experiment, they proposed the production of 'Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait' (ATSB), which can be sprayed onto patches of vegetation to lure mosquitoes and kill them. This irresistible trap for mosquitos can be made by combining melon and guava extracts and beer and boric acid, all of which can be bought cheaply and locally. A field research has already been conducted to prove this fact. According to Mahamoudou Toure, a researcher at the Malaria Research and Training Center at the University of Bamako, Mali, they were able to reduce the mosquito population by 90 per cent along a stretch of road in a semi-arid district in Mali following a single application.

He also added that they need to ensure that the ATSB does not kill other, useful insects in the region, and they need more fund to conduct more experiments. It can be noted that, the Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait for mosquito population is not harmful to humans.

-Nisha Noor