Controlling Malaria Anopheline mosquitoes with light


A technique to reduce the incidence of biting and to disrupt the normal profile of nocturnal flight activity of the Malaria Anopheline mosquito. Using exposure to white light presented at timed intervals during the late daytime, dusk, dawn, and during the night. Demonstrated dramatic reductions in mosquito biting of humans. As well as increased or decreased levels of mosquito flight activity dependent upon the specific timing of light delivery.

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The photic exposure method used to augment current insect control techniques or implemented as stand-alone approach. Scientists at the University of Notre Dame have found that exposure to just 10 minutes of light at night. Suppresses biting and manipulates flight behavior in the Anopheles gambiae mosquito.

Anopheline mosquitoes are adapting to these current methods by developing resistance to insecticides. Shifting feeding to earlier in the evening or later into the early morning. Time of the day people are not in bed and therefore not protected by a net.

Mosquitoes pulsed with light every two hours

The mosquitoes tested preference to bite during their active host-seeking period. By separating them into multiple control and test batches. Control mosquitoes kept in the dark. While test batches exposed to pulse of white light for 10 minutes.

Researchers then tested the propensity of the mosquitoes to bite immediately after the pulse and every two hours throughout the night, holding their arms to a mesh lining that allowed uninfected mosquitoes to feed while remaining contained. Results indicated a significant suppression. In another experiment, mosquitoes pulsed with light every two hours, and using this multiple pulse approach the team found biting suppressed during a large portion of the 12-hour night.

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Pulses of light would probably be more effective than constant exposure. As the mosquitoes would be less likely to adapt to light presented in periodic doses. The research team is testing the effectiveness of different wavelengths of light. Such as red light, that would be less disturbing to adults and children while they sleep. With an aim toward developing field-applicable solutions.